The European Space Agency ( ESA ) and the German Aerospace Center ( DLR ) on Tuesday conducted a successful launch of Germany’s S1-4 atmospheric research satellite from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden.
The satellite, also known as SABER-2, was launched atop a Vega rocket and will measure temperature, wind speed and other data in the upper layers of the atmosphere across the globe.
ESA’s SABER-2 mission is part of the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation program and will be used to provide global measurements of neon, water vapor, ozone, and methane molecules near the edge of space.
This is the first of two satellites in the SABER mission, with the second scheduled for launch in 2021. The two satellites will be combined to provide global coverage and more accurate data on Earth’s atmosphere.
The SABER mission is led by a team from the French space agency, with contributions from DLR and the Italian space agency.
ESA director Jan Woerner was present at the launch site and was delighted about the success of the launch.
“It’s always fantastic to be here for a launch like this. I am extremely pleased that SABER-2 was brought to its orbit with such success. This mission is a perfect example of the importance of international collaboration and how it is crucial for our success. At ESA, we believe in international cooperation and a strong European Space Community,” said Woerner.
ESA’s Director General, Josef Aschbacher, added: “Saber-2 is an important piece of the international cooperation programme and, in particular, of our European Space Community, which will significantly improve our understanding of Earth’s atmosphere.”
The SABER-2 mission is expected to provide data for the next five years, and will be used to inform climate models and could also be used to improve our understanding of climate change and other Earth system processes.
In addition to SABER-2, ESA has also recently launched two other Earth observation satellites, Aeolus and BepiColombo, which will help gain a better understanding of our atmosphere and oceans.
The next ESA mission is the EchoStar-6 mission, which is expected to launch from French Guiana in February. The mission will use a satellite to measure changes in sea levels. This data will be used to measure the impacts of climate change on the world’s oceans.