The Sentinel 2B satellite was successfully launched from Kourou in French Guyana at 02:49 CET on 7 March 2017, including over 70 pieces of equipment that were designed and manufactured in Hungary.

The serial photographs made by the satellite will provide more detailed images of land cover, soil water content and changes in surface water conditions, which could be extremely important both for mapping natural disasters and monitoring the effects of climate change.

The European Union entrusted the development of the satellite to the European Space Agency (ESA), of which Hungary has also been a member since November 2015. Every country involved in the project was represented in the delegation sent to attend the launch.

DownloadPhoto: ESA/CNES/Arianespace

Deputy State Secretary for EU and International Relations Ákos Péter Mernyei highlighted: “Monitoring the full course of each project is important from both a professional and political perspective, because the launching of the satellite is a good opportunity for the countries involved in the project to become acquainted with the added values of the Hungarian space industry, thus creating the possibility for further successful and effective cooperation”.

The Copernicus earth observation programme is the European Union’s most important space infrastructure programme, which contributes to improving people’s quality of life while employing state-of-the-art technologies in a cost effective manner.

Hungarian space industry enterprises headed by Miskolc-based Admatis Ltd. also took part in the development of the newly launched latest member of the Sentinel family of satellites, the Sentinel 2B. Doubling the performance of its twin, the Sentinel 2A, which was launched in 2015, the two satellites will now be able to take 10 images-a-day of the whole territory of Europe.

DownloadPhoto: ESA/CNES/Arianespace

The Sentinel 2B contains over 70 pieces of equipment, primarily radiators, optical baffles, calibration baffles and attaching elements, which in the most part were designed, tested and manufactured by Hungarian enterprises. The previous member of the satellite family, the Sentinel 2A, was also built using a similar level of Hungarian participation, and Hungarian parts are already in production for the upcoming members of the space industry (the Sentinel 2C and 2D).

By joining the ESA, Hungary became involved in the work of the Europe’s largest space organisation. Full membership places the already very successful Hungarian space industry on new foundations and enables Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises and research institutes to become involved in international programmes as suppliers. This development increases employment and helps to keep highly trained professionals in Hungary.

(Ministry of National Development)