VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE (CBS SF/AP) — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite tv for pc lifted off from Vandenberg Air Pressure Base Saturday morning — a launch seen throughout the Central Coast.
The launch car arced southward over the Pacific Ocean whereas the Falcon’s first stage efficiently returned to the launch web site and landed for reuse.
“3.. 2.. 1.. 0.. and liftoff of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, persevering with a legacy of ocean remark and worldwide collaboration to learn all humanity.” pic.twitter.com/JCT0AnV0za
— NASA (@NASA) November 21, 2020
The satellite tv for pc, often known as Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and collectively developed by Europe and america, accommodates cutting-edge devices capable of seize sea floor top with unprecedented accuracy, including to space-based measurements going again nearly 30 years.
“That is a particularly essential parameter for local weather monitoring,” mentioned Josef Aschbacher, the European Area Company’s director of Earth remark.
Billions of individuals dwelling in coastal areas across the planet are in danger within the coming many years as melting polar ice and ocean growth attributable to warming push waters ever increased up the shore.
“We all know that sea stage is rising,” Aschbacher saud. The large query is, by how a lot, how rapidly.
🛰️GOES West Meso 1 – captured the launch of 🚀 #Sentinel6 from Vandenberg AFB. Discover the warmth signature on varied satellite tv for pc imagery bands #cawx @CIMSS_Satellite @UWCIMSS pic.twitter.com/n5HDGXiFSF
— NWS Bay Space (@NWSBayArea) November 21, 2020
Some research estimate the world’s oceans will rise by no less than 2 toes by the top of the century, hitting low-lying areas from Bangladesh to Florida.
Whereas measurements are additionally taken at floor stage, in harbors and different coastal areas, they don’t present the identical exact uniform commonplace as a single satellite tv for pc sweeping the complete globe each 10 days, he mentioned.
“For those who measure it at sea stage, you’ve one measurement system in Amsterdam and you’ve got a special one in Bangkok and yet one more one in Miami,” Aschbacher informed The Related Press by video from ESA places of work in Frascati, Italy. “However with a satellite tv for pc, you possibly can evaluate these measurements globally as a result of it’s the identical instrument that flies over all these areas.”
The probe’s strongest weapon is the Poseidon-Four radar altimeter, named after the trident-wielding Greek god of the ocean. The instrument measures how lengthy it takes for radar alerts to bounce off the ocean floor and again to the satellite tv for pc.
The brand new satellite tv for pc will even accumulate measurements at increased decision than its predecessors, permitting researchers to look extra intently at small ocean options, particularly alongside the coastlines.
Different devices on board will measure how radio alerts go by way of the ambiance, offering knowledge on atmospheric temperature and humidity that may assist enhance world climate forecasts.
The satellite tv for pc is because of be carried into orbit Saturday from Vandenberg Air Pressure Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The European Area Company this week lamented the lack of two satellites when a European-built service rocket veered astray shortly after launch.
“ This failure on Monday reminded us how dangerous the area enterprise is,″ Aschbacher mentioned. “We’re all the time on the edge.”
Sentinel-6 is called after the late director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, Michael Freilich, an oceanographer who was key to getting the U.S. area company to affix the mission.
We owe him rather a lot and he greater than deserves to have this satellite tv for pc named after him,” mentioned Aschbacher. “I’m very sorry personally that he can’t push the button tomorrow.”
Europe and america are sharing the 900-million-euro ($1.1-billion) price of the 10-year mission, which incorporates the launch of an an identical twin, presently known as Sentinel-6B, in 2025.
It’s the primary time that one other area company has been concerned in ESA’s flagship Copernicus program, which already has seven satellites in orbit measuring the seas, ambiance and land. Some knowledge collected by the ESA and different businesses just lately confirmed the affect of the coronavirus pandemic as seen from area.
Aschbacher mentioned he hopes NASA and ESA will group up on future missions, too.
“NASA is our strongest accomplice internationally,” he mentioned. “We’re discussing proper now different choices of cooperation primarily based on the mannequin of Sentinel 6-Michael Freilich.”
The 2 area businesses just lately agreed to cooperate on a deliberate NASA outpost across the moon.
However Aschbacher mentioned lunar missions and others seeking to Mars and past, shouldn’t divert consideration from the necessity to keep watch over our personal planet.
“Everyone knows that (Earth) is present process monumental modifications, extraordinarily quick modifications and modifications we by no means had earlier than on this planet with a pace and depth brought about, clearly, by people,” he mentioned. “And we have to perceive how this planet capabilities for our personal survival, for our personal future.”
© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Related Press contributed to this report.