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SpaceX launches a new NASA satellite and lands with a boom


Illustration of the Sentinel-6 / Michael Freilich satellite in orbit.


The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sent a new satellite to NASA and the European Space Agency on its way into orbit from California on Saturday morning. The Sentinel-6 satellite Michael Freilich is the latest in a series of satellites that provide critical data on sea level rise and climate change for nearly three decades. It is named after the former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, Michael Freilich, who is considered a pioneer in conducting oceanographic work from orbit.

The new bird spying on the ocean will be able to measure sea levels within a few centimeters for 90% of the world’s oceans. The dual satellite, named Sentinel-6B, will join efforts when it launches in 2025. The instruments of the new satellites will also provide data on atmospheric temperature and humidity, which will help improve weather forecasts, according to NASA.

The mission began with the rather rare launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the west coast of the United States. A statement from Vandenberg sent earlier this week warned that parts of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties in California could hear a number of sound booms as the first stage of the Falcon 9 returned to land after the satellite was launched. to orbit

The loud booms could be heard on the mission’s webcast just before the first stage of the Falcon 9 made a successful landing, just a short distance from the launch pad. See the show for yourself below.

This is just the beginning of a very busy day for SpaceX, which also plans to launch its latest batch of Starlink satellites from Florida.

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