New Sentinel-6 Sea Level Satellite Arrives at California Launch Site

New Sentinel-6 Sea Level Satellite Arrives at California Launch Site

A transport container containing the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite tv for pc is faraway from an Antonov 124 plane at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on September 24, 2020, after its two-day journey from an IABG engineering facility close to Munich, Germany. Credit: 30th Space Wing

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft will launch from the U.S. West Coast aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in November.

The world’s newest ocean-monitoring satellite tv for pc has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California to be ready for its November 10 launch. The product of a historic U.S.-European partnership, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft touched down at Vandenberg in an Antonov 124 plane at round 10:40 a.m. PDT (1:40 p.m. EDT) on September 24 after a two-day journey from an IABG engineering facility close to Munich, Germany.

“The spacecraft had a smooth trip from Europe and is in good shape,” mentioned Parag Vaze, the mission’s challenge supervisor at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “Final preparations are under way to see the satellite safely into Earth orbit in a little under seven weeks.”

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite Shipping Container

A transport container containing the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite tv for pc is transported on a truck to the SpaceX payload processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base after touchdown in California on September 24, 2020. Credit: 30th Space Wing

The satellite tv for pc is called after Dr. Michael Freilich, the previous director of NASA’s Earth Science Division and an instrumental determine in advancing ocean observations from area. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is certainly one of two an identical spacecraft that compose the Sentinel-6/Jason-CS (Continuity of Service) mission developed in partnership with ESA (the European Space Agency). ESA is creating the brand new Sentinel household of missions to assist the operational wants of the European Union’s Copernicus program, the EU’s Earth statement program managed by the European Commission. The spacecraft’s twin, Sentinel-6B, will launch in 2025.

“It has been a long journey of planning, development, and testing for the mission team,” mentioned Pierrik Vuilleumier, the mission’s challenge supervisor at ESA. “We are proud to work with our international partners on such a critical mission for sea level studies and are looking forward to many years of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich taking critical sea level and atmospheric data from orbit.”

Once in orbit, every satellite tv for pc will accumulate sea floor top measurements right down to the centimeter for greater than 90% of the world’s oceans. They’ll be contributing to an almost 30-year-long dataset constructed by an uninterrupted sequence of spacecraft that began with the TOPEX/Poseidon mission within the early 1990s and that continues at this time with Jason-3. Instruments aboard the spacecraft can even present atmospheric knowledge that can enhance climate forecasts, assist to trace hurricanes, and bolster local weather fashions.

Sentinel-6 Spacecraft

Copernicus Sentinel-6 is the following radar altimetry reference mission to increase the legacy of sea-surface top measurements till no less than 2030.

Although Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich has already undergone rigorous testing, it’ll undergo a last checkout on the SpaceX payload processing facility at Vandenberg to confirm that the satellite tv for pc is wholesome and prepared for launch.

Once checks are full, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will probably be mounted atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 4E. The launch is scheduled for 11:31 a.m. PST (2:31 p.m. EST) on November 10.

“The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will extend our observation record of global sea level, advance our understanding of the Earth as a system, and inform decision-makers, from federal to local levels, who must manage the risks associated with rising sea level,” mentioned Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division in Washington.

Sentinel-6/Jason-CS is being collectively developed by ESA, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with funding assist from the European Commission and technical assist from France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES).

JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, is contributing three science devices for every Sentinel-6 satellite tv for pc: the Advanced Microwave Radiometer, the Global Navigation Satellite System – Radio Occultation, and the Laser Retroreflector Array. NASA can be contributing launch companies, floor programs supporting operation of the NASA science devices, the science knowledge processors for 2 of those devices, and assist for the worldwide Ocean Surface Topography Science Team.

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