New Sentinel-5 Precursor pollution monitoring satellite ready for launch


The new Sentinel-5 Precursor pollution monitoring satellite by Airbus is being prepared for its launch in September.

To be launched aboard a Rokot rocket, the satellite is preparing to begin its journey from the Airbus site in Stevenage, UK, to its launch site at Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia.

When launched, Sentinel-5Precursor will be a part of the Copernicus global monitoring programme, a joint mission between European Commission and European Space Agency (ESA) that will provide atmospheric chemistry data to the Copernicus programme.

Airbus’ three sites in the UK, France and Germany were involved in the development of the satellite.

"We are ensuring we have the infrastructure and skills in place to support our ambition to capture 10% of the global space market by 2030.”

UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The UK-built Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite and the success of the Copernicus Programme demonstrate what we can achieve through collaboration with our European partners and the UK’s vital role in the programme thanks to our Earth observation expertise.

“We’ve been clear that we want our companies and universities to continue participating in key EU space programmes, and through our Industrial Strategy and ongoing investment in the UK space sector, we are ensuring we have the infrastructure and skills in place to support our ambition to capture 10% of the global space market by 2030.”

The Sentinel-5 Precursor is equipped with TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) to measure ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, methane and other atmospheric pollutants at a higher resolution than previous instruments.

The more accurate atmospheric data provided by Sentinel-5 Precursor will enable improved climate models, as well as pollutant tracking and forecasting.


Image: Airbus-built Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite ready for launch in cleanroom at Stevenage, UK. Photo: courtesy of Airbus.