Like land, the ocean is also being polluted and damaged by humans. Europe is about to lunch a satellite on Wednesday to monitor such activities of the humans in the ocean. The Dubbed Sentinel-3B will be the 7th satellite to join the constellation of Copernicus Earth-monitoring satellites since 2014. Its twin satellite, the Sentinel-3A was launched on 2016 February and the ESA (European Space Agency) confirmed that with its help, full-time data can be provided after 3 hours of its capture.

The sentinel-3B is one of the most comprehensive of all the missions and is fitted with a wide range of science instruments. It weighs about 1,250 kilograms and is roughly about the size of a car. It will be hoisted to space from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on the North side, by a Russian Rocket launcher. The schedule for liftoff is on Wednesday 1757 GMT.

Both the Sentinels satellites will be mirroring each other at an altitude of above 800 kilometers on opposite sides of the Earth. It will be on the lookout for the harms done as well as the recovery done to the ocean. It is a very crucial mission for coastal monitoring and ocean applications including surface temperature changes, sea level variation, pollution, coastal vegetation and sea ice melting. The heights of lakes and rivers will also be monitored and the satellites will also look out for wildfires.

The project of Copernicus is named after a Polish astronomer of the 16th century who discovered that the Earth orbited the sun. It is funded by the ESA and the European Union together. This program will be the largest monitoring program of the environment in the world and will provide free data to whoever needs it. The Copernicus will be able to improve the natural disaster responses, locate safe passages (roads, rails, bridges), and identify worst-hit areas after a flood or earthquake, after mapping certain areas of the Earth. The other satellites in the constellation are in charge of monitoring the Earth’s forest cover, land pollution, and the atmospherical changes.

There are many investors in this project including Britain and London. The EU-linked participation of Britain will officially end when it leaves the block. Many UK based has contracts with the ESA for this project to supply hardware. The budget of the Copernicus project will be an estimate of about 7.5 billion euros from the year 2008 to 2020.

Source: https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-3