SpaceX will launch a research satellite on 10th November 2020. The satellite, named Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, will enable scientist to measure the way sea levels react to climate change. It will launch on the reusable Falcon 9 rocket.
NASA announced this on 2nd October 2020. It said that the satellite will be an Earth-observing device. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Both the United States and European authorities are collaborating on the project.
This satellite will collect data on global sea level and how oceans rise or fall due to climate change for about five years and six months. NASA says this will be the most accurate data ever-collected concerning this research.
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich uses the tech of the European Space Angecy (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission and that of the U.S.-European TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1, 2, and 3 series of sea level observation satellites.
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“The data from these satellites has become the gold standard for sea level studies from space over the past 30 years. In 2025, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich’s twin, Sentinel-6B, is scheduled to launch and advance these measurements for at least another half decade,” NASA writes.
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is named after Dr. Michael Freilich, the former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division and a tireless advocate for advancing satellite measurements of the ocean. Its launch is important because it will give researchers information that helps them understand how climate change is reshaping the coastlines of the earth and its rate.
Additionally, it will be able to see things that previous sea level missions could not see. The satellite will also expand the global atmospheric temperature data record. Meteorologists will get more information on atmospheric temperature and humidity. Thus, we will be seeing improved weather forecasts.
Not to forget that it is using tech from previous successful partnerships between the US and Europe researchers. ESA; European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT); NASA; and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working on launching the Sentinel-6/Jason-CS satellite pair. The European Commission provides funding support and CNES gives the team technical support.
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