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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 4 April 2014

Earth observation: Copernicus satellite lifts off successfully

Today’s successful launch marks a major milestone for EU’s Earth observation programme Copernicus. Sentinel 1A, the first satellite dedicated to the programme, was put into orbit after a successful launch at 23:02 on 3 April from Europe’s spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana.

This represents a significant achievement, not just for the Copernicus programme, but also for European Space Policy and the involvement of the European Union in space activities. The EU has put space at the forefront of its political agenda. Space is at the heart of the European Union strategy for growth – the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Sentinel 1A is the first satellite of the first of six families of dedicated satellite missions, which will be launched between 2014 and 2021. See IP/14/357 and MEMO/14/251.

Copernicus, the EU's Earth Observation Programme, will ensure the regular observation and monitoring of Earth sub-systems, the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces, and will provide reliable, validated and guaranteed information in support of a broad range of environmental and security applications and decisions.

European Commission Vice President @AntonioTajaniEU, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: “Thanks to Sentinel 1A, the first of a constellation of satellites dedicated to the Copernicus programme, brand new eyes will observe our living Earth as never before and these eyes will be European! The data provided by this satellite will enable considerable progress in improving maritime security, climate change monitoring and providing support in emergency and crisis situations. Multiplying, in this way, the benefits that European citizens will reap from our space programmes.”

For more information

IP/14/78 Eurobarometer on Europeans' attitudes to Space Activities

Copernicus on Europa



Carlo Corazza (+32 2 295 17 52) Twitter: @ECspokesCorazza

Sara Tironi (+32 2 299 04 03)

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