Europe launches latest earth observation satellite

PARIS (AP) — The European Space Agency has launched into orbit a fifth Sentinel satellite as part of its Copernicus earth observation program.

The 1.1 ton Sentinel-2B was successfully launched from French Guiana. It’s joining twin satellite Sentinel-2A, which has been in orbit since 2015. Both have been designed to provide high-resolution optical images for land services.

The ESA said the twins will help produce extremely precise data expected to benefit agriculture as well as study climate and environment. Sentinel-2B will help track pollution of lakes and coastal waters, monitor land changes or produce disaster maps by providing information on floods, volcanic eruptions and landslide.

According to ESA, Copernicus “can now build up an image covering the entire planet in just 5 days, cutting the time needed to image the globe by half.”