Russia has recently launched a satellite into the orbit of Earth, which is expected to monitor Europe's atmosphere vigilantly. Scientists have sent the satellite on Friday into space in the hope that it would help them to study air pollution.
The European Space Agency's satellite, dubbed Sentinel-5P, was launched by a Rokot missile from the Plesetsk launch pad, which is situated in northwestern Russia, reported AP. As per the experts, the satellite will map the atmosphere every day.
According to the ESA, following its separation from the upper stage booster, the satellite deployed its solar panels and also started communicating with Earth. The first signal was received just 93 minutes after its launch when the satellite passed over the Kiruna station in Sweden. Subsequently, the controllers at ESA's operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, established command and control links, which allow them to monitor the condition of the satellite.
"The Sentinel-5P satellite is now safely in orbit so it is up to our mission control teams to steer this mission into its operational life and maintain it for the next seven years or more," said ESA Director General Jan Woerner in a statement.
As per the statement, this mission is likely to contribute to volcanic ash monitoring for the purposes of aviation safety and services that warn of high-level UV radiation, causing severe skin damage. Moreover, the measurements will help in understanding the procedures in the atmosphere which are connected to the climate as well as in the formation of holes in the ozone layer.
Sentinel-5P is the sixth satellite that has been launched as part of the ESA's Copernicus program. The previous Earth-observing Sentinel satellites that were launched have already provided the scientists with radar and optical imagery of our globe. They also monitor the conditions of the world's oceans and ice sheets, states the report.
"Having Sentinel-5P in orbit will give us daily and global views at our atmosphere with a precision we never had before," reported ESA, quoting Josef Aschbacher, the head of its Earth observation programs.
Philippe Gaudy, who oversees the Sentinel project for the European Space Agency, mentioned that the data collected by Sentinel 5P would aid in better observation of air pollution, for example, Nitrogen Oxide emitted by cars.
As per a recent estimation, over 4,00,000 people die prematurely in Europe only due to air pollution, states the report. The orbital observation data, sent by these satellites, can be used to compare recorded air pollution level by governments with actual information. It would help the experts to monitor whether or not the countries are living up to their commitments under international treaties, said Gaudy.
The data that the ESA will gather from Sentinel-5P will be made available to anyone and everyone who wants it, for free, he added. Since it takes a minimum of several months for the engineers to calibrate and validate the measurements, the data is expected to be available starting from the first half of 2018, as per the report.