NASA Launches Small Climate Satellite to Study Earth’s Poles | Space

The first of a pair of climate satellites designed to study heat emissions at Earth’s poles for NASA is in orbit after lifting off atop Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in Māhia, New Zealand at 7:41 p.m. NZST (3:41 a.m. EDT) on Saturday.

The agency’s PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) mission consists of two shoebox-size cube satellites, or CubeSats, that will measure the amount of heat Earth radiates into space from two of the coldest, most remote regions on the planet. Data from the PREFIRE mission will help researchers better predict how Earth’s ice, seas, and weather will change in a warming world.

“NASA’s innovative PREFIRE mission will fill a gap in our understanding of the Earth system – providing our scientists a detailed picture of how Earth’s polar regions influence how much energy our planet absorbs and releases,” said Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division in Washington. “This will improve prediction of sea ice loss, ice sheet melt, and sea level rise, creating a better understanding of how our planet’s system will change in the coming years — crucial information to farmers tracking changes in weather and water, fishing fleets working in changing seas, and coastal communities building resilience.”

Ground controllers successfully established…

Source www.nasa.gov

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