From New Zealand, NASA launches a satellite to study an important climate indicator, the first of its kind

From New Zealand, NASA launches a satellite to study an important climate indicator, the first of its kind

Arctic and Antarctica climate compasses. A small NASA satellite, aiming to measure heat loss in detail for the first time in space across Earth's poles, lifted off on Saturday, May 25, from New Zealand. This mission, called PREFIRE, is supposed to allow scientists to improve climate change predictions.

About the size of a shoe box

Karen Saint-Germain, director of scientific research, announced during a press conference in mid-May that “this new information, which we did not have before, will help us develop a model of what is happening at the poles, and in relation to the climate.” On Earth at NASA.

The satellite, which is the size of a shoebox, was launched by Rocket Lab's Electron rocket from Mahia in northern New Zealand. A similar satellite will be launched by the same company later. Both will be used to make far-infrared measurements over the Arctic and Antarctica, directly determining the amount of heat released into space for the first time.

This satellite joins more than twenty other NASA missions responsible for observing the Earth, which are already in orbit. Small satellites like this are called Cubesat and represent a real opportunity to answer “highly targeted” questions “at a lower cost,” explained Karen Saint-Germain. She stressed that if traditional large satellites can be viewed as “general,” then these small machines can be compared to “specialized.” NASA needs both. »

Source: Huffingtonpost.fr

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