One year after the successful launch of the first Copernicus satellite (“Sentinel 1”), a second satellite (“Sentinel 2”) was successfully sent into orbit at 03:52 CET on Tuesday 23 June from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs said: “Today’s success is not only an achievement for European space policy. Above all, it will benefit citizens down here on Earth. Copernicus provides more precise and reliable information about our environment and European citizens’ security. And the availability of full, free and open satellite observation data is already today allowing innovative entrepreneurs to create new applications and services in Europe.”
The launch of the Sentinel 2 satellite is the fruit of European technological and industrial excellence and brings us further in our path to a new world standard for Earth observation data. The flow of open and free data is already today creating a market for satellite-enabled products and services, providing highly qualified jobs, with spill-over effects across the economy.
The addition of a second satellite will allow Copernicus to deliver images of Earth’s changing land with a high level of detail and accuracy. Citizens and businesses have free, full and open access to the Copernicus data that can be used to manage and protect the environment and natural resources, tackle climate change, and ensure civil security. Sentinel 2 data can help farmers in monitoring the changes in vegetation and cultures during the growing season. The Copernicus data can help in responding to emergency situations, whether man-made accidents or natural disasters such as flooding and landslides. In the recent earthquake in Nepal, the combination of the pictures acquired before and after the quake by the Copernicus satellite helped local relief efforts to target their resources.
The Copernicus programme is made possible by European technological and industrial excellence and the joint efforts of the European Commission, the European Parliament, EU Member States and the European Space Agency.
Copernicus will help create new jobs and business opportunities. Already today, space activities foster the development of a market for satellite-enabled products and services. A range of new business models are beginning to flourish around the services and data provided by Copernicus, paving the way for innovative entrepreneurs to create new applications and services.
In addition to the space industry, a number of economic segments will see the advantages of accurate and reliable earth observation data, such as transport, oil and gas, insurance and agriculture.
Studies show that Copernicus, which by 2021 will include six satellites, could generate a financial benefit of some €30 billion and create around 50,000 jobs in Europe by 2030.
Moreover, the open dissemination regime for Copernicus data and service information will help citizens, businesses, researchers and policy makers to integrate an environmental dimension into all their activities and decision-making procedures.