Touchdown Rosetta’s Philae lander on the comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014 was large aerospace news. Closer to home, but for man on earth perhaps more importantly, a month earlier, the date of October 6, 2014, when Copernicus’ Sentinel-1A satellite earlier this year launched on April 3, became operational. From that moment, the rich SAR data of this first of a long series of new Earth observation missions, available free to all. Truly a milestone in the aerospace remote sensing and an important step towards operational Earth observation for space downstream.
In the years to come Sentinel satellites as part of the EU Copernicus program gradually available. All the data from these satellites are for everyone, public and private, available for free. Among many other new Earth observation satellites that will come (often commercially exploited), this wealth of data offers huge potential for scientific, social and economic applications. Partly this was because of the Task Force Satellite Data Applications written report “Space to use – more value for our Earth” with growth ambitions for the Dutch downstream sector from 16 to 105 M EUR in 2020.