The European Space Agency (ESA) Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, and the Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, Heinz Zourek, have signed an amendment to the EC-ESA Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) agreement that will extend the scope of the original Agreement (signed in February 2008) to activities of Segment 2 of the GMES Space Component Programme. This paves the way to ordering the second units of the Sentinel 1, 2, 3 satellites as well as the atmospheric chemistry missions Sentinel 4 and 5 precursor.

Segment 2 of the GMES Space Component (GSC) Programme, which will span the period 2009-2018, overlapping with the ongoing Segment 1 (2006-2013), will complete the development of the initial five new Sentinel satellites, developed by ESA specifically to meet the needs of GMES, and will ensure operational access to Earth observation data from Contributing Missions for the user community.

Segment 2 was approved by the ESA Member States at the last ESA Ministerial Council meeting held in November 2008 with subscriptions to the programme from ESA Participating States amounting to €831.4 M (at 2008 economic conditions). The new amendment adds a further contribution from the European Commission of €205 M to Segment 2 of the GSC programme.