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Arianespace to launch Sentinel-1A satellite in 2012

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Sentinel-1, the first Earth observation satellite to be built for Europes Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme. An ESA photo

PARIS (BNS): Arianespace will launch the Sentinel-1A Earth observation satellite for European Space Agency (ESA) in December 2012.

ESA and Arianespace have signed a contract in this regard.

Sentinel-1A, the first in the Sentinel satellites family, will be launched as part of the European Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme.

The satellite will be launched by a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Weighing 2300 kg, it will be placed into a Sun-synchronous, circular orbit at an altitude of about 690 km, according to ESA.

The Sentinels are a family of satellites being developed by ESA to meet the needs of the services provided through the EU’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative.

Sentinel-1 is a radar mission that will provide an all-weather, day-and-night supply of imagery for GMES ocean and land-monitoring services, including mapping forests, ground movement, sea ice and oil spills, ESA said.

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