European meteorological satellites – MetOp series – launch

The MetOp-A, B, C is a series of three identical polar-orbiting weather satellites to provide data for weather forecasting and climate monitoring.

MetOp-A on 2006.10.19

MetOp-B from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on-board a Soyuz launcher on 17 September 2012. MetOp-A was launched in 2006.

ESA ENVISAT spacecraft launch 2002

The ESA ENVISAT satellite mission was launched on 2002.03.01 aboard an Ariane 5 from the Guyana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. This 8 tonne mission includes many important Earth observation instruments, notably MERIS & SCIAMACHY.

ESA Sentinel-3 A lift off 2016

Sentinel-3 A was launched on a Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on 16 February 2016. It is the third satellite to be launched for Europe’s Copernicus environment monitoring programme. Designed as a two-satellite constellation – Sentinel-3A and -3B – the Sentinel-3 mission carries a series of cutting-edge instruments for observing Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. Over oceans, Sentinel-3 measures the temperature, colour and height of the sea surface as well as the thickness of sea ice. These measurements are used to monitor changes in sea level, marine pollution and biological productivity. Over land, this innovative mission monitors wildfires, maps the way land is used, provides indices of vegetation state and measure the height of rivers and lakes.

ESA Sentinel-3 B lift off 2018

The second Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, Sentinel-3B, lifted off on a Rockot from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 17:57 GMT (19:57 CEST) on 25 April 2018. Sentinel-3B joins its twin, Sentinel-3A, in orbit.

Interview Dr. Pepijn Veefkind (TU Delft & KNMI) on TROPOMI, on-board Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5P)

Discover more about our planet with the Earth from Space video programme. In this special edition, Dr. Pepijn Veefkind from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) joins the show to discuss the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5P) satellite, set for launch on 13 October.

NASA CALIPSO – CloudSat spacecraft launch 2006

Watch the Delta II rocket launching the CALIPSO – CloudSat spacecraft from Vandenberge, AFB, in 2006.

NASA OCO Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) launch Failure 2009

Watch the Taurus Rocket Launch Failure, transporting the first OCO instrument on 2009-02-24, from Vandenberg (California, USA). This failure was a real tragedy for the American scientific Earth Observation community as OCO was the first instrument dedicated to anthropogenic CO2 – Carbon dioxide observations at a very fine spatial resolution. The later NASA debriefing attributed the cause to the unsuccessful separation of the fairing during the ascent mode. The added mass of the fairing prevented the satellite from reaching its expected orbit. It subsequently re-entered in the atmosphere and crashed into the Indian Ocean near Antarctica. In this video, you can see the tension growing up in the NASA room with the presence of David Crisp, Principal Investigator (PI) of OCO. At the end, the NASA launch commentator declares the launch contingency and loss of the mission, and announces the implementation of the contingency plan.

NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) launch 2014

Watch the launch of NASA’s OCO-2 Carbon Observatory on a Delta II Rocket from Vanderberg (California, USA) in 2014, 5 years after the tragic OCO launch failure.

President Obama explains how air pollution affects our planet

President Barack Obama explained the issues related to air quality on the DNews YouTub channel. As an additional surprise, pictures of the OMI EOS-Aura satellite (NO2 maps over China and USA) were shown to support his statements.

See my WebBlog here.

Sentinel-3: Operating the satellites

Hilary Wilson, EUMETSAT’s Sentinel-3 Manager and Kevin Marston, EUMETSAT’s System Operation Manager, take you inside the Sentinel-3 control room to talk about operating Sentinel-3A and soon Sentinel-3B.

See my WebBlog here.

Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5P) Launch Event Webcast by ESA -ESTEC 2017


Replay of the launch event at European Space Agency (ESA) technical heart in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, on 13 October 2017. During the ESA event, a number of the key players in the Copernicus S5P mission discussed building the satellite and its state-of-the-art TROPOMI instrument. Don’t miss the presence of my TU Delft & KNMI colleagues Dr. Pepijn Veefkind & Prof. Dr. Pieternel Levelt.

The event included live feeds from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome – from where Sentinel-5P was launched – as well as from ESA’s mission control in Darmstadt, Germany.

In addition, you can watch the S5P liftoff via the ESA YouTube Channel here

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