The Copernicus Program & Sentinel satellites


The Copernicus program is a project run by the European Union (EU) and European Space Agency (ESA) that builds and manages a fleet of Earth-observing satellites called Sentinel. Eight missions have been launched to date, providing data about changes occurring to the oceans, land and atmosphere of our planet.

Copernicus was created in 1998 when EU officials signed the Baveno Manifesto, a document proposing that Europe play a major role in handling worldwide environmental and climate issues, in Baveno, Italy, according to a history from the EU. The program was originally known as Global Monitoring for Environmental Security (GMES) and was intended to provide information that could help humanitarian aid, peacekeeping tasks, and border surveillance, along with environmental concerns. 


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