Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), is the Earth observation programme launched by the European Union Agency in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), the EU Member States. 

The objective of Copernicus is to monitor and forecast the state of the environment on the land, sea, and in the atmosphere, in order to support climate change mitigation and ensure civil security. The data and information derived from Copernicus are made available free of charge to all its users and the public, thus allowing downstream services to be developed.

In 2014 the European Union launched the Sentinel-1A satellite and plans to place a constellation of almost 20 more satellites in orbit before 2030.