Спутник Sentinel-6. Источник изображения: NASA

NASA Launches Ocean Level Tracking Satellite Today


Thirty years of NASA satellite observations of sea levels show that water levels are rising and land is receding. As a result, coastal areas are becoming a place of close observation, as the risk of flooding, hurricanes and threats to shipping and industrial fishing increases. The accuracy of observations will be ensured by the latest satellites Sentinel-6 and Sentinel-6B. The first is to be launched today and the second in five years.

Satellite Sentinel-6. Image source: NASA

Satellite Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich. Image source: NASA

The first of a pair of satellites for observing the level of the World Ocean – Sentinel-6 – was named after the American oceanographer Michael Freilich. The live broadcast of preparations for launching on the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle will begin at 19:45 Moscow time, and the launch itself should take place at 20:17. “The best ocean view from the front row is from space”– says Thomas Zurbuchen, scientific director of NASA.

In addition to the general dataset on global climate change associated with warming and melting polar ice caps, data from the Sentinel-6 satellite will help improve weather forecasts. In particular, we are talking about predicting hurricanes, which is very clearly visible from sea level near coastlines. Before the hurricane begins to form, the water level rises, forming a kind of bubble in the danger zone, which will be one of the signals for announcing an alarm.

Tracking the dynamics of the sea level is, of course, extremely important for the development of coastal zones in many countries. After all, there is no point in investing resources in areas that in the near future will go under water or will be deprived of certain resources or prospects due to the onset of the waters of the World Ocean.

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