The UK assemble satellite is set to go into orbit soon to monitor air quality around the globe.



The Dutch designed instrument will make daily maps of polluting gases and particles known to be harmful to health. The spacecraft called Sentinel-5P is a contribution to the EU’s Copernicus Earth monitoring program.


S5P will ride to orbit on a converted Russian intercontinental ballistic missile called a Rockot.


Putting up 5P now also ensures that there are no data gaps in observations should an ageing previous-generation instrument suddenly fail. That sensor, called OMI, flies on the US space agency’s Aura satellite.


“This has been a major work program for UK space technology companies, but data from the Sentinel satellites is why Copernicus exists, data that benefits the UK in areas such as emergency response, flooding, farming, environmental management, rural payments, air quality, marine planning and fisheries.”


The EU with the help of the European space Agency is developing a constellation of satellites as part of its Copernicus program.


It is reported that five of the platforms are already up and many more will follow in the next few years.

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