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In Photos: Earth 'Sentinel' Satellite Blasts off on Vega Rocket

Sentinel-2B Blasts Off

S. Corvaja/ESA

A Vega rocket carrying the European Space Agency's Sentinel-2B satellite blasted off from Korou, French Guiana on March 6, 2017 at 8:49 p.m. EST (10:49 p.m. local time). The Earth-observing satellite and its counterpart, Sentinel-2A, will monitor the environment and provide information "for agricultural and forestry practices and for helping manage food security," European Space Agency officials said in a statement. [Read the full story]

Soaring into Orbit

S. Corvaja/ESA

After launch, Sentinel-2B settled into a polar orbit about 490 miles (786 kilometers) above Earth. From there, it will help track natural disasters, land use and water pollution around the world. [Video: How Sentinel-2B Will Deliver Unprecedented Earth Views]

Guiana Spaceport

S. Corvaja/ESA

The Vega rocket stands on the launchpad awaiting the countdown to liftoff at Europe's Guiana Spaceport near Korou, French Guiana. [Read the full story]

Liftoff!

S. Corvaja/ESA

Sentinel-2B lifted off on a Vega launcher from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana at 8:49 p.m. EST on March 6 (0149 GMT on March 7). [Read the full story]

Goodbye, Guiana Spaceport!

Stephane Corvaja/ESA

The Sentinel-2B satellite blasts off atop a Vega rocket from Europe's Guiana Spaceport near Korou, French Guiana. [Read the full story]

Smoke Plume on the Launchpad

S. Corvaja/ESA

This fish-eye view shows the European Space Agency's launchpad and support structure shortly after the Vega rocket lifted off. [Read the full story]

Ready for Launch

S. Corvaja/ESA

The Sentinel-2B spacecraft stands about 11.2 feet (3.4 meters) tall and weighs 2,513 lbs. (1,140 kilograms). [Read the full story]

Onto the Payload Launcher Adapter

Manuel Pedoussanut/ESA 2017

Sentinel-2B is installed onto its payload launcher adapter at Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on Feb. 16.

Encapsulating Sentinel-2B

Manuel Pedoussaut/ESA 2017

Sentinel-2B is encapsulated within the half-shells of the Vega rocket fairing at Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on Feb. 16.

Vega Rocket with Sentinel-2B Satellite

ESA–Manuel Pedoussaut

The Vega rocket carrying Europe’s Sentinel-2B satellite in its mobile gantry, at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on March 6, 2017, the day of its planned liftoff.

Sentinel-2B and Vega Rocket

ESA–Stephane Corvaja

A Vega rocket and its payload, Europe’s Sentinel-2B Earth-observing satellite, in its mobile gantry at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on March 6, 2017.

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