European Space Agency Launches Satellite on Mission to Monitor Global Air Quality

The Sentinel-5P lifts off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia

Putting up 5P now also ensures that there are no data gaps in observations should an ageing previous-generation instrument suddenly fail.

"This has been a major work program for United Kingdom space technology companies, but data from the Sentinel satellites is why Copernicus exists, data that benefits the United Kingdom in areas such as emergency response, flooding, farming, environmental management, rural payments, air quality, marine planning and fisheries".

"Launching the sixth Sentinel satellite for the Copernicus project is testament to the extensive competence we have here at ESA, from its moment of conception to well into operations", said ESA Director General Jan Woerner. The instrument will monitor trace gases that affect the air we breathe, such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and aerosols, according to an ESA mission description.

Russian Federation today launched a European satellite dedicated to monitoring Earth's atmosphere, the protective layer that shields the planet from the sun's radiation, live footage from the cosmodrome showed.

"Every day, Tropomi will make nearly 20 million observations of important air pollutants and gases affecting the climate", Pepijn Veefkind from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) said in a recent statement.

The Sentinel-5P satellite is designed for a mission life of about seven years but carries enough fuel to last a decade, ESA officials said.

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