• The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, designed to monitor oceans, was launched from the Vandenberg Air Force base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on November 21.
• This is a part of the next mission dedicated to measuring changes in the global sea level. Other satellites that have been launched since 1992 to track changes in the oceans on a global scale include the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 and OSTN/Jason-2, among others.
• The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite has been named after Dr. Michael Freilich, who was the Director of NASA’s Earth Science Division from 2006-2019 and passed away in August this year.
• The mission, called the Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) mission, is designed to measure the height of the ocean, which is a key component in understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing.
• It has been developed jointly by the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (Eumetsat), the USA’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the EU.
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