NASA to Launch Sea Level Satellite Used to Monitor Ocean Levels at California Spaceport

5th Oct 2020
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite

The Sea Level Satellite is the latest addition to NASA’s highly specialized successful space programs. The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is the outcome of a fruitful joint endeavour by the US and Europe.

 The Project Details

The satellite is a namesake of the previous director of NASA’s Earth Science Division and it is a worthy tribute to his work and accomplishments.

NASA and the European Space Agency collaborated to develop the Earth systems monitoring spacecraft, also making an identical copy of the satellite. The Sentinel-6B is the other identical unit, currently based in Europe.

ESA’s mission project manager, Pierrik Vuilleumier, acknowledges the importance of evolving technology to observe sea levels and the atmosphere. He salutes international partnerships in missions to plan, design, and develop such high tech.

NASA’s director of Earth Science Division in Washington, Karen St. Germain, concurs with Pierrik Vuilleumier. She looks forward to the impact a Sea Level Satellite will have in helping key players in the industry monitor the currently proliferating sea levels. The observatory satellite is expected to vastly expand our knowledge of the Earth’s sea levels.

The Sentinel-6/Jason-CS developmental team will comprise the ESA, NASA, EUMETSAT (European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites), and others, to name but a few.

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, Sea Level Satellite, is scheduled for launch on November 10, 11.31 am PST, from the US West Coast. The mission’s project manager at NASA, Mr. Parag Vaze, has collaborated with the ESA to enable its successful launch in about six weeks.

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich was the result of a joint collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency

The initial significant part of the mission is complete – the transportation of Sentinel-6 from Europe to the US. It took two days to ship the device from Munich, Germany to California’s SpaceX payload processing facility.

Further tests will be carried out at the SpaceX facility to ensure the monitoring spacecraft is up to the challenge before take-off. It will then be placed on a Falcon 9 rocket designed by SpaceX in order to launch from Space Launch pad 4E located on the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The final steps are being undertaken to successfully see the Sentinel-6 Sea Level Satellite launch into the Earth’s orbit, with the identical twin satellite, Sentinel-6B, set to launch in a further five years.

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