Call for Media: Upcoming Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite to map Earth’s oceans



Media representatives are invited to join an online press conference on Friday, 16 October, at 16:00 CEST (10:00 EDT) to discuss the November launch of the Copernicus Sentinel-6 ‘Michael Freilich’ ocean-monitoring satellite. Follow the briefing live on ESA Web TV.

Charting sea level

Sea-level rise is one of the most severe consequences of climate change. The rate at which oceans are rising has accelerated over the past 25 years, and scientists expect it to speed up in the years to come. To be able to keep a closer eye on sea level, permanent observations over the world’s oceans are needed.

Scheduled for launch on 10 November 2021 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite is the first of two identical satellites to be launched sequentially to provide accurate measurements of sea-level change.

Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich: preparing for launch

Renamed in honour of Michael H. Freilich, the former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, the satellite will continue the legacy of the Jason series of missions and extend the records of sea level into its fourth decade. The satellite will map 95% of Earth’s ice-free ocean every 10 days and provide crucial information for operational oceanography and climate studies.

The Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission is a true example of international cooperation. While Sentinel-6 is one of the European Union’s family of Copernicus missions, its implementation is the result of the unique collaboration between ESA, NASA, Eumetsat and NOAA, with contribution from the French space agency CNES.

Event programme

Key speakers include:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen - Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
  • Pierre Delsaux - European Commission’s Deputy Director General for Defence Industry and Space
  • Josef Aschbacher - Director for Earth Observation Programmes at ESA
  • Karen St. Germain - Director of NASA’s Earth Science Division
  • Parag Vaze - Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Alain Ratier - Director General of Eumetsat
  • Nadya Vinogradova-Shiffer - Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters
  • Tim Dunn, launch director for NASA’s Launch Services Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Livestream information

Follow the live webstream:

Ask your questions by using the hashtag #SeeingTheSeas on social media during the briefing.

Media registration

Media who would like to ask questions via phone during the event must provide their name and affiliation by 15 October 01:30 CEST (19:30 EDT), to Rexana Vizza ( of JPL’s Digital News and Media Office at or by calling (+1)818-393-1931. Valid media credentials are required.

For further information, please contact ESA Newsroom and Media Relations Office – Ninja Menning at or by calling +31 71 565 6409.

Social media

Follow ESA Earth Observation on:

Twitter: @ESA_EO @esa
Instagram: ESA_Earth and Europeanspaceagency
Facebook: EuropeanSpaceAgency
YouTube: ESA

Follow the mission using the hashtags: #Sentinel6 and #SpaceCare

Further information

More information about Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission:

Copernicus Sentinel-6 facts and figures

More information about ESA Earth observation:


Images of Copernicus Sentinel-6

ESA’s Photo Library for Professionals

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Videos of Copernicus Sentinel-6

ESA’s Video Library for Professionals

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For questions or more information related to ESA videos, please contact directly

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