Airbus-Built Copernicus Sentinel-2C Satellite Shipped to European Spaceport for Launch

Airbus-Built Copernicus Sentinel-2C Satellite Shipped to European Spaceport for Launch

Airbus-built Sentinel-2C satellite, the third Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite, is about to be shipped to the European spaceport in French Guiana, after road transport from Airbus in Friedrichshafen to Bremen on 2 July. The container has been loaded onto the iconic Canopée, the first sail-assisted cargo ship designed specifically to transport Ariane 6 rocket components from European ports to the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, where it will arrive in approximately two weeks.

"About half of the data used to assess and monitor the impact of climate change on Earth is actually delivered by satellites," said Marc Steckling, Head of Earth Observation, Science and Exploration at Airbus. "The Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites have provided valuable climate information to scientists since 2015 and Sentinel-2C will ensure continuity. Additionally, they have also made monitoring marine litter from space a reality, a significant achievement considering how critical this issue has become."

Data collected by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites is being used to monitor land use and change, soil sealing, land management, agriculture, forestry, natural disasters (floods, forest fires, landslides, volcanic eruptions and erosion) and to support humanitarian aid missions. Environmental monitoring, which provides information on the pollution of lakes and coastal waters, is also part of these activities, as is the monitoring of glaciers, ice and snow.

The Sentinel-2 mission contributes to the management of food security by providing information for the agricultural sector. Copernicus Sentinel-2, with its multispectral instrument, is the first optical Earth observation mission of its kind to include three bands in the "red edge", which provide key information on vegetation conditions. The satellite is designed to provide images that can be used to distinguish between different crop types, as well as data on numerous plant indices such as leaf area index, leaf chlorophyll content and leaf water content - all of which are essential for accurately monitoring plant growth.

Sentinel-2C, like its predecessors Sentinel-2A and -2B, will provide "colour vision" for Copernicus, the Earth Observation component of the EU Space Program, generating optical images from the visible to the shortwave infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. From an altitude of 786 kilometres, the 1.1 tonne 'C' satellite will provide continuous imaging in 13 spectral bands with resolutions of 10, 20 or 60 metres and a uniquely large swath width of 290 kilometres. The optical design of the MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) has been optimised to provide state-of-the-art image data quality over its very wide field of view, to be transmitted via Airbus' laser-based SpaceDataHighway (EDRS).

The telescope structure and mirrors are made of Silicon Carbide, a material pioneered by Airbus to provide very high optical stability and minimise thermo-elastic deformation, resulting in excellent geometric image quality. This is unprecedented in this category of optical imagers. Each Sentinel-2 satellite collects 1.5 terabytes per day after on-board compression. 

The Sentinel-2 mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites, Sentinel-2A (launched in 2015) and Sentinel-2B (launched in 2017), flying in the same orbit but 180° apart to optimise coverage and revisit time. The satellites orbit the Earth every 100 minutes, covering all land surfaces, large islands, inland and coastal waters every five days. Once in orbit, Sentinel-2C will replace its predecessor, Sentinel-2A, while Sentinel-2D will later replace Sentinel-2B to ensure continuity of data beyond 2035.

The Sentinel-2 mission has been made possible through close cooperation among the European Commission, ESA, industry, service providers and data users. Some 60 companies have been involved in its development, led by Airbus Defence and Space in Germany. Airbus has played a key role in building the satellites and instruments for Copernicus since the program began in 1998, contributing its environmental expertise to all six Sentinel missions and the new next-generation Copernicus satellites: CRISTAL, LSTM, and ROSE-L.

The Sentinel satellites are part of Copernicus, the Earth Observation component of the EU Space Program, managed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA). The Copernicus Sentinels provide remote sensing data of the Earth, providing key operational services related to the environment and security.

Pre-launch activities will be carried out in Kourou to prepare Copernicus Sentinel-2C for launch on the final Vega rocket operated by Arianespace in September.

Click here to learn more about the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Publisher: SatNow
Tags:-  SatelliteLaunchGround


  • Country: Netherlands
More news from Airbus

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013