Sentinel-2A is a European optical imaging satellite launched in 2015. It is the first Sentinel-2 satellite launched as part of the European Space Agency's Copernicus Programme. The satellite carries a wide swath high-resolution multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands. It will perform terrestrial observations in support of services such as forest monitoring, land cover changes detection, and natural disaster management.[4]

Sentinel 2-IMG 5873-white (crop).jpg
Model of a Sentinel 2 satellite
Mission typeEarth observation
COSPAR ID2015-028A
SATCAT no.40697
WebsiteSentinel-2 (ESA)
Mission durationPlanned: 7 years[1]
Elapsed: 6 years, 11 months, 2 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeSentinel-2
ManufacturerAirbus Defence and Space
Launch mass1,140 kg (2,510 lb)
Dry mass1,017 kg (2,242 lb)
Dimensions3.4 m × 1.8 m × 2.35 m (11.2 ft × 5.9 ft × 7.7 ft)
Power1700 watts
Start of mission
Launch date23 June 2015, 01:51:58 (2015-06-23UTC01:51:58) UTC[2]
RocketVega (VV05)
Launch siteKourou SLV
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Semi-major axis7,167.10 km (4,453.43 mi)
Perigee altitude788.06 km (489.68 mi)
Apogee altitude789.87 km (490.80 mi)
Period100.65 minutes
Epoch9 March 2017, 21:05:23 UTC[3]
BandS band (TT&C support)
X band and optical laser through EDRS (data acquisition)
Bandwidth64 kbit/s upload (S band)
128 kbit/s - 2 Mbit/s down (S band)
520Mbit/s down (X band/Optical)
Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI)

On 7 March 2017 the Sentinel-2A was joined in orbit by its sister satellite, Sentinel-2B.

Mission historyEdit


Sentinel 2A was launched by the Vega VV05 rocket on 23 June 2015 at 01:52 UTC. The satellite separated from the upper stage 54 min 43 s after liftoff.[citation needed]

Orbital operationEdit

The satellite captured its first image 100 hours after launch, making a 290 km wide swath from Sweden through Central Europe to Algeria.[5][6]: 8  Commissioning occurred in October 2015.[6]: 8 

Between 20 and 23 January 2017 the spacecraft suffered a mission planning anomaly which resulted in loss of data from the Multi-Spectral Imager.[7]


  1. ^ "Sentinel-2: The Operational Compernicus Optical High Resolution Land Mission" (PDF). European Space Agency. 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Second Copernicus environmental satellite safely in orbit". European Space Agency. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Sentinel 2A - Orbit". Heavens-Above. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  4. ^ Justice, Adam (23 June 2015). "Sentinel-2A: Satellite blasts off to provide new, improved view of Earth". International Business Times. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Sentinel-2 delivers first images". European Space Agency. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b Hoersch, Bianca (2015). A short success story of Sentinel-2A (PDF). Meeting of the Earth Observation Programme Board. 22–23 September 2015. ESRIN, Frascati, Italy. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Loss of Sentinel-2A acquisitions between 20 and 23 January 2017". European Space Agency. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.

External linksEdit

  • Sentinel-2 programme at ESA's Sentinel Online
  • Sentinel-2 programme at
  • Real-time orbital tracking -