According to Russian State Corporation “ROSCOSMOS” information,the second Sentinel-3 satellite, Copernicus Sentinel-3B, was launched on 25 April 2018, joining its identical twin Sentinel-3A in orbit. This pairing of satellites increases coverage and data delivery for the European Union’s Copernicus environment programme. The 1150 kg Sentinel-3B satellite was carried into orbit on a Russian Rockot launcher (produced by Khrunichev Center, ROSCOSMOS) from PLESETSK launch site.
Rockot’s upper stage delivered Sentinel-3B into its planned orbit. Just 92 minutes after liftoff, Sentinel-3B sent its first signals to the Kiruna station in Sweden. Data links were quickly established by teams at ESA’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, allowing them to assume control of the satellite.
During the three-day launch and the early orbit phase, controllers will check that all the satellite’s systems are working and begin calibrating the instruments to commission the satellite. The mission is expected to begin routine operations after five months.
With this launch, the first set of Sentinel missions for the European Union’s Copernicus environmental monitoring network are in orbit, carrying a range of technologies to monitor Earth’s land, oceans and atmosphere.