AskScience AMA Series: We are U.S. and European partners on the world's latest Earth-observing satellite, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, which will observe changes in sea levels for at least the next decade. The spacecraft is "go" for launch on November 21. Ask us anything!NEWQ:show
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is a historic U.S.-European partnership that is designed to collect the most accurate satellite data for our continuing measurements of global sea level and to help us understand how our oceans are responding to climate change. It's named after Dr. Michael Freilich, the former director of NASA's Earth Science Division and a tireless advocate for advancing satellite measurements of the ocean. Liftoff is Saturday, Nov. 21 at 12:17 p.m. EST (9:17 a.m. PST, 5:17 p.m. UTC) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
This spacecraft will:
- Provide information that will help researchers understand how climate change is reshaping Earth's coastlines - and how fast this is happening.
- See things that previous sea level missions couldn't, including smaller, more complicated ocean features, especially near the coastlines.
- Further build upon a highly successful U.S.-European partnership - it's the first NASA-ESA joint effort in an Earth science satellite mission, first international involvement in the European Union's Copernicus program, and continues a tradition of cooperation between NASA, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and European partners including ESA (European Space Agency), EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) and CNES (Centre national d'études spatiales).
- Expand the global atmospheric temperature data record, the mission will help researchers better understand how Earth's climate is changing.
- Help to improve weather forecasts by providing meteorologists information on atmospheric temperature and humidity.
Read more about the mission in the official press kit.
- Sandra Cauffman, Deputy Director, Earth Sciences Division, NASA Science Mission Directorate
- Craig Donlon, ESA Mission Scientist for the Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission
- Hayley Evers-King, Marine Application Expert, EUMETSAT
- Ben Hamlington, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Research Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Eric Leuiliette, Program Scientist for Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, NOAA
- Mic Woltman, Chief, Fleet Systems Integration, NASA's Launch Services Program
- Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Titus, Deputy Commander of the 30th Operations Group, U.S. Space Force
We'll be answering at 1pm EST (18 UT), ask us anything!
UPDATE: We’re signing off – thanks so much for joining us for today's Reddit AMA! We hope that you keep following along in the lead up to launch.
Get the latest launch updates. https://blogs.nasa.gov/sentinel-6/