SpaceX will launch NASA's 'golden house' satellite –Watch a briefing about the mission!

SpaceX will launch NASA's 'golden house' satellite –Watch a briefing about the mission!

Featured Image Source: NASA

A golden house-shaped satellite will soon orbit Earth. SpaceX will launch the oddly shaped vehicle early November. The unique craft is NASA's Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, designed to collect sea level data from orbit that will offer scientists insight about how climate change is affecting weather phenomena and how fast it is reshaping Earth's coastlines.

"Earth's oceans and atmosphere are inextricably connected. The sea absorbs more than 90% of the heat trapped by rising greenhouse gases, which causes seawater to expand," NASA explains, "This expansion accounts for about one-third of modern-day sea level rise, while meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets accounts for the rest."

Sentinel-6 is named in honor of retired NASA Earth Scientist Michael Freilich, who worked over a decade as director of Earth science missions. --“Decadal-level scale in regional and global sea level are perhaps the most robust evidence that Earth's climate is changing and that's why humanity -- not one agency, not one country, not one continent, but humanity -- has been monitoring global sea levels from space with exquisite accuracy for more than 28 years,” Freilich said at NASA headquarters during a January presentation.

Source: NASA

The agency announced it will host a briefing next week to discuss the important mission. "Officials from NASA and partner agencies will discuss the upcoming launch of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean-monitoring satellite during a Media briefing at 10 a.m. EDT (7 a.m. PDT), Friday, Oct. 16. The launch is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 10. The media briefing will air Live on NASA Television," the agency wrote in a press release. You can watch the briefing's broadcast in the video linked below.

The satellite is scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base on November 10. "After launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California and once in orbit, the satellite will collect sea level measurements down to a few centimeters across 90% of the world's ocean," the agency states. 


Sentinel-6 is an international project between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA is responsible for the satellite that was manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space. Both NASA and ESA designed and provided the satellites’ instruments. NASA is responsible for launch operations; it selected SpaceX Falcon 9 to deploy it into low Earth orbit at an altitude of around 1,336 kilometers.

The Sentinel-6 satellite is programmed to gather data of Earth’s oceans for 5 years, but the golden house-shaped satellite could remain orbiting our planet for as long as 25 years. After the five-year period, the agencies plan to launch a second satellite called Sentinel-6B, that will operate similarly. "As a historic U.S.-European partnership, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft will begin a five-and-a-half-year prime mission to collect the most accurate data yet on global sea level and how our oceans are rising in response to climate change," NASA stated, "The mission will also collect precise data of atmospheric temperature and humidity that will help improve weather forecasts and climate models."



About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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