The European Space Agencys latest satellite, Sentinel-5P, which will monitor the atmosphere for trace gases, has been shipped to its launch site in Plesetsk, Russia, and is set to launch during October. Sentinel-5 Precursor (S-5P) is the first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring the atmosphere and follows five other Sentinel satellites already in orbit. The Sentinel satellites make up the core of the European Unions (EU) Copernicus environmental monitoring network. Copernicus provides information on the worlds land surfaces, oceans and atmosphere to support policy making and for citizens and service providers. Monitoring instrument Sentinel-5P carries the state-of-the-art TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (Tropomi), which will map a multitude of trace gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and aerosols all of which can affect health and climate. With a swath width of 2600km, Tropomi will map the entire planet every day. Information from this new mission will be used through the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service for air quality forecasts and for decision making. The satellite is expected to be transported into orbit on a Rockot launcher on October 13, 2017. Checks and tests William Simpson, ESAs Sentinel-5P satellite and launch manager, said, It was great to see it arrive here in Plesetsk where the team was ready and waiting, keen to make sure the satellite was in good health after its voyage from the UK. The launch campaign has got off to a flying start. We first unpacked all the electrical and mechanical support equipment, which is essential for testing the satellite, and then we used a crane to remove Sentinel-5P gently from its container. Once we had it in position, one of the first jobs was to switch it on. This is always a tense moment, so there were smiles and cheers all round when the satellite clicked on, showing that all was well. Were now running though the list of checks, both for the satellite and for its Tropomi instrument, and the propulsion team is preparing to fuel the satellite before it joins the upper stage of its rocket and is encapsulated in the protective rocket fairing. While we still have a lot to do, so far, so good.
Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for more than a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and has since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and automotive to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.