Nasa delays soil study satellite launch

2015-01-30 19:01
(Nasa website)

(Nasa website)

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Miami - Nasa pushed back the launch of a satellite to study soil moisture to Saturday, so that it could perform "minor repairs" to the launch rocket.

The space agency said: "The launch of Nasa's soil moisture active passive (SMAP) observatory, which will produce the highest-resolution maps of soil moisture ever obtained from space, has been delayed to a targeted launch date of 31 January."

Nasa said that repairs to minor "de-bonds" in the rocket's booster insulation were needed before a launch, which had been set for early on Friday.

The new target launch time is Saturday at 14:20 GMT from Vandenberg air force base in California.

An earlier launch planned for Thursday was scuttled because of windy weather.

The high-resolution maps that SMAP returns to scientists should help prepare for the future in which severe weather like droughts and storms are expected to become more frequent, by giving experts better tools to forecast how crops and forests will change as the planet warms.

Read more on:    nasa  |  us  |  agriculture  |  climate change

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