On 27 May 2014 Europe’s Copernicus programme Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite passed an important milestone on its mission to monitor global air quality and provide data on trace gases and aerosols. The satellite platform built in the UK by Airbus Space and Defense was reported as ready for the installation of the ultraviolet to shortwave infrared imaging spectrometer.
The first documents for Europe’s MetOp Second Generation (MetOp SG) weather satellite mission were signed on 20 May 2014 by representatives from ESA and Airbus Defence and Space at the Berlin Air Show.
The EU maintains diplomatic relations with nearly all countries in the world. It has strategic partnerships with key international players, is deeply engaged with emerging powers around the globe, and has signed bilateral Association Agreements with a number of states in its vicinity. Abroad, the Union is represented by a number of EU Delegations, which have a similar function to those of an embassy.
ESA has successfully launched the first satellite for the Copernicus program – Sentinel 1. The 2.3 tonne satellite lifted off on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 21:02 GMT.
On 12 March 2014, the European Parliament adopted the Regulation of Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation Programme. With the adoption of the regulation, the Copernicus programme is entering the operational phase after years of preparation.
ESA is moving ahead with the development of their next-generation satellite communication platform - Neosat. The Phase-B contract was signed on 20 February in Paris, France. ESA contracted the European firms Airbus Defense and Space and Thales Alenia Space to build the new generation Neosat spacecrafts.