Invitation: Meet Copernicus ECMWF scientists at the launch of Sentinel-5P satellite for Copernicus

Thursday, October 5, 2017 — The next satellite of Europe's Copernicus programme is set for launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on 13 October at 09:27 GMT(11:27 CEST).

The media are invited to meet scientists from Copernicus ECMWF and other experts and to follow the launch together with them at ESA's Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. To book a one-to-one interview on launch day with Copernicus ECMWF scientists contact:

For accreditation at the launch event register here:

The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission's Copernicus programme.

Sentinel-5 Precursor - also known as Sentinel-5P - is the first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere. It will map the entire planet every day. Information from this new mission will be used by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), run by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), for air quality forecasts and related decision-making.

“Sentinel-5P will provide daily coverage of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of the key pollutants, with a much finer spatial resolution than was previously available. It will be able to “see” urban sources much more precisely. This is essential. Sentinel-5P will detect sources that are not accounted for in the air quality forecast models or that are not well quantified. Thinking about ‘dieselgate’, this is of course very important,” says Vincent-Henri Peuch, head of CAMS and one of the Copernicus ECMWF scientists who will be at ESTEC.

These data will also underpin the monitoring of changes in the ozone layer over time and follow its recovery process, which is expected to take until the middle of the century. “Reliable and long time-series are essential for evaluating the climate models that are used to predict how climate will change and the ozone layer will recover,” says Richard Engelen, Deputy Head of CAMS and the other Copernicus ECMWF scientist who will be attending the launch event.

Sentinel-5P was developed to reduce data gaps between the Envisat satellite – in particular the Sciamachy instrument – and the launch of Sentinel-5, and to complement GOME-2 on MetOp. In the future, both the geostationary Sentinel-4 and polar-orbiting Sentinel-5 missions will monitor the composition of the atmosphere.

Until then, the Sentinel-5P mission will play a key role in monitoring and tracking air pollution, to provide the Copernicus ECMWF's CAMS and C3S services with the raw data they need to help us manage our environment, understand and tackle the effects of climate change and safeguard our everyday lives.


Notes for editors:

To book a one-to-one interview on launch day contact:

Silke Zollinger

Press and Events Manager

Copernicus Communication

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

Shinfield Park, Reading, RG2 9AX, UK


Tel: +44 (0)118 9499 778

Mob: +44 (0) 755 477 3973

To attend the launch event register here.

For the latest news and information on this mission, visit

The Twitter hashtag to follow is #Sentinel5P

Launch event at ESA's Space Research and Technology Centre

10:00 - Doors open

10:30 - Welcome by Jan Woerner, Director General of ESA

Introduction by Josef Aschbacher, Director of ESA Earth Observation Programmes

Addresses by representatives from the European Commission, the Netherlands Space Office and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Talks from ECMWF scientists and experts about what Sentinel-5P will deliver and the social and economic benefits the mission will bring

Live coverage from the launch pad in Plesetsk, Russia, and live transmission from ESA's European Space Operations Centre, in Darmstadt, Germany

11:27 - Liftoff from Plesetsk

11:35 - Lunch

12:45 - Live coverage of satellite separation, solar panel deployment and acquisition of first signal

Information on how to get to ESTEC: 


Copernicus is the European Commission’s flagship Earth observation programme. It delivers freely accessible operational data and information services which provide users with reliable and up-to-date information related to environmental and security issues.

CAMS is run by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Commission. ECMWF also operates the Copernicus Climate Change Monitoring Service (C3S). ECMWF is an independent intergovernmental organisation, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its 34 Member and Co-operating States.

Academic and environmental institutions from across Europe, including national meteorological services, play an integral part in making Copernicus a success.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service website can be found at

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service website can be found at

The ECMWF website can be found at