The first photographs from Sentinel-2A, the European Earth observation satellite launched on the 23rd of June, are a good sign of things to come, the European Space Agency (ESA) says. The optic satellite Sentinel-2A is designed to keep an eye on emerging land and coastlines. It will help observe land, farms and forests, and will also be useful for the environment, agriculture and civil security. The mission will let scientists study water quality and blue gold consumption, and help determine where it is safe to swim, according to Dimitry Van der Zande, from the Belgian Royal Institute of Natural Sciences.
The satellite will collect crucial information on the planet’s vegetation and farms, says Pierre Defourny from the UCL. Built by Airbus Defence and Space, Sentinel-2A is the second satellite in the ambitious European Earth observation program Copernicus. Sentinel-2A will be joined by its twin brother Sentinel-2B in mid-2016. The operational phase will start in two months.