NASA’s PACE Ocean-monitoring Satellite Will Be Launched This Week By SpaceX

A NASA satellite is ready to take off to map the various colours of the ocean.

Tuesday, February 6 at 1:33 a.m. EST (0633 GMT) is when NASA’s PACE spacecraft, which will assist scientists in assessing the condition of oceans worldwide, is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

NASA is providing live coverage of the liftoff on and directly through the space agency. Start time for coverage is 12:45 a.m. EST (05:45 GMT).

PACE, which stands for Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, Ocean Ecosystem, will be launched by Falcon 9 into an orbit 420 miles (677 km) above Earth, or roughly 70% higher than the International Space Station.

PACE’s three research instruments will be used from that vantage point “to collect data on clouds, aerosols, and phytoplankton growth that can determine ocean colour,” according to a mission update released by NASA on Thursday, February 1.

“Measuring the colour and amount of light will help scientists better understand the types and locations of microscopic algae, which are vital to the health of Earth’s oceans and its marine life,” they stated. “PACE will contribute to NASA’s more than 20 years of global satellite observations of ocean biology and key measurements related to air quality and climate.”

If all goes as planned, the 10.5-foot-long (3.2-meter-long) PACE will perform its task for at least three years.

PACE travelled a protracted and occasionally terrifying route to the launch pad. In its budget requests for the fiscal years 2018, 2019, and 2020, the Trump administration made three different attempts to terminate the mission. But Congress allocated the required funds on each occasion, saving PACE from the chopping block.

NASA set a ceiling of $805 million on PACE’s total cost in 2014, which included the cost of its launch vehicle. Liftoff was scheduled for 2022. That cost has increased to $948 million, though, as reported by Florida Today.

The launch of PACE is a part of SpaceX’s hectic year. Elon Musk claims that the business launched 10 orbital missions in January, setting a record for a single month. And that remarkable speed can quicken even further: In 2024, SpaceX plans to launch 144 missions, according to company officials.

You might also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *