Latest in Gear

Image credit: SpaceX, YouTube

US, Europe and SpaceX launch a satellite to track rising global sea levels

It could play an important role in tracking climate change.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 21, 2020
133 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

NASA and ESA launch Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean satellite on SpaceX rocket
SpaceX, YouTube

Scientists should soon have an easier time studying rising sea levels as climate change takes hold. NASA and the ESA have partnered with SpaceX to launch the Sentinel 6 Michael Freilich ocean tracking satellite. The spacecraft will gauge sea levels worldwide and not only continue an unbroken 28-year record of ocean monitoring, but do so at extreme detail — down to the centimeter (0.4in) for over 90 percent of Earth oceans.

The satellite should also improve weather forecasts and help ships navigate by tracking worldwide ocean currents. It’s named after the late former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, a champion of Earth science and ocean studies.

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will have a companion in the future. A twin satellite, Sentinel-6B, will launch in 2025. The combo should help maintain the climate record for “at least” another decade between the two vessels, NASA said. It’ll take about a year for the initial satellite to take over from its predecessor, Jason-3.

The timing might be ideal. The incoming US administration is expected to fully recognize climate science, and an advanced satellite could help the administration make better-informed policy decisions.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
133 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Google shows off 'Cyberpunk 2077' running on Stadia at 4K

Google shows off 'Cyberpunk 2077' running on Stadia at 4K

View
Scientists find neutrinos from star fusion for the first time

Scientists find neutrinos from star fusion for the first time

View
Belkin’s new wireless charger tries to do what AirPower promised

Belkin’s new wireless charger tries to do what AirPower promised

View
Comcast is hiking TV and internet prices in 2021

Comcast is hiking TV and internet prices in 2021

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr