New Delhi November 21st
American space agency NASA will launch a new satellite on November 21 to monitor global sea levels and gather atmospheric data to improve weather forecasts and hurricane tracking. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will be carried into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 12:17:08 EST, NASA said in a release.
The new satellite will be followed by its twin Sentinal 6B five years later, and together they are tasked with extending NASA’s three decade-long record of global sea surface height measurement.
“Named after former NASA Earth Science Division Director Michael Freilich, the US-European satellite will be carried into space on a Space X Falcon 9 rocket, with liftoff targeted for 9:17:08 am PST (12:17:08 pm (EST) from Space Launch Complex 4 East. If needed, backup launch opportunities are available on subsequent days, with the instantaneous launch window falling about 12 minutes early each day,” NASA said in a statement.
NASA TV coverage will begin at 11:45 am (EST). You can watch the live coverage on NASA’s public channel and NASA’s youtube channel.
Global sea levels have risen significantly since the start of the 20th century due to the melting of temperate glaciers, majorly in Greenland and Antarctica. Melting ice sheets of Greenland contributed the most to the global sea level rise between 2003 and 2016. The island lost about 255 billion tons of ice on average per year during this period. The mass slowed in 2017 and 2018 to about 100 billion tons, before recording a 532 billion tons ice loss in 2019, according to a study published in journal Communications Earth and Environment.