Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich undergoes tests at an IABG cleanroom in Germany
Image credit: IABG


Size: 16 feet, 11 inches (5.15 meters) long; 7 feet, 7 inches (2.35 meters) high; 8 feet, 5 inches (2.58 meters) wide (the approximate size of a small pickup truck).

Mass: 2,628 pounds (1,192 kilograms), including onboard propellant at launch.

Power: Two fixed solar arrays, plus two deployable solar panels.

Batteries: 200-amp-hour battery consisting of 1,152 lithium-ion cells.

Instruments: Radar altimeter, advanced microwave radiometer for climate, GNSS for radio occultation (RO), laser retroreflector, DORIS, and GNSS for precise orbit determination (POD).

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich orbits Earth in this artist's impression.
Image credit: ESA/NASA


Launch: No earlier than Nov. 10, 2020.

Launch location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Prime mission: 5 ½ years.

Orbit altitude: 830 miles (1,336 kilometers).

Orbit's inclination to Earth's equator: 66 degrees (non-Sun-synchronous orbit).

Orbit duration: 112 minutes, 26 seconds.

Orbits per day: Approximately 13.

Velocity: 4.5 miles per second (7.2 kilometers per second) or 16,200 mph (26,071 kph).

Sea Level Data from Jason-3

International Collaboration

The mission is being developed jointly by ESA (European Space Agency) in the context of the European Copernicus program led by the European Commission, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with funding support from the European Commission and contributions from France's space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES).


NASA investment: Approximately $500 million.