The Sentinel-2B Earth observation satellite will soon be launched and join the Copernicus program, the world’s largest environmental monitoring program which is headed by the European Commission in partnership with ESA.
Sentinel 1 and 2 are already in orbit and providing valuable data for science and safety. Data from the satellites prompted the evacuation of the Halley VI research station in Antarctica. The satellites are monitoring a large crack that formed in the Brunt Ice shelf, a floating ice shelf in the Weddell sea region The crack formed in October and was dubbed the Halloween Crack. The crack grew by as much as 600 meters a day during November and December and the British Antarctic Base (BAS) Halley VI found itself only 17 km away.
Now new cracks have formed and puts the base and the between 20 and 70 people in jeopardy. The base is mobile and has already moved 23 km inland. BAS used radar images from Sentinel-1 and optical images from Sentinel-2 to monitor the situation and out of an abundance of caution have decided to close the base at least temporarily.