Last Friday, 27 March 2015, the European Space Agency's (ESA) seventh and eight Galileo satellite were sent in orbit. They lifted off at 21:46 GMT from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on top of a Souyuz rocket. According to ESA, the mission went as planned and the satellites are already in testing phase.
On 28 October 2014, representatives of the European Space Agency ESA and the European Commission signed an agreement that nominates the ESA as coordinator of the Space Component of the Copernicus programme, with a relevant budget of 3.15 billion euro. This includes the operation of the Sentinel satellites until mid-2021 and the building of follow-on units, which should last at least until 2028–30.
On 17 July 2014, representatives of ESA and Arianespace met in ESA’s headquarters in Paris to sign a contract to build the Sentinel-1B satellite scheduled. Sentinel-1B is to be launched from the European Space Port in French Guiana in early 2016 to join its sister satellite Sentinal-1A as a dual satellite constellation orbiting Earth 180° apart providing complete coverage of the planet every six days.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) formalised their collaboration by signing a collaboration agreement to enhance the development and use of geospatial standards. The outcome is expected to be a more effective contribution of JRC to the OGC standard process, "and facilitate the consideration of European objectives and requirements during the development of international open geospatial standards" as stated by the announcement of OGC.
UN-SPIDER, together with representatives of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the European Commission (EC), SERTIT, ITHACA and the US Geological Survey (USGS), participated in a meeting of the International Working Group on Satellite-based
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.
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.