Nasa launches climate satellite

2011-10-28 12:00

kalahari.com

  • NASA
    The USA accelerated the space race in 1958 by forming NASA. Eager readers will learn about the... Now R441.00
    buy now
Washington - The US space agency on Friday launched a first-of-its kind satellite that will send back data on weather and climate to help forecasters predict major storms and other changes in the environment.

The $1.5bn National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NPP) took off aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 05:48 (09:48 GMT).

Nasa scientists described the SUV-sized satellite as the first to provide observations for both short term weather forecasters and long term climate researchers.

"In short, NPP is better observations for better predictions to make better decisions," NPP project scientist Jim Gleason said during a briefing with reporters on Wednesday.

The satellite will carry five instruments to study temperature and water in the atmosphere, how clouds and aerosols affect temperature, and how plants on land and in the ocean respond to environmental changes.

Instruments

The satellite is one of 14 Earth observation missions currently being managed by Nasa. Project managers said they hope it will operate for about five years.

"NPP will provide improved information to forecasters and emergency managers to better warn and prepare the public for severe weather events," said Mitch Goldberg, chief of the satellite meteorology and climatology division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"We expect to improve our forecast skills out to five to seven days in advance of extreme weather events, including hurricanes."

Since NPP will circle the Earth at a height of 820km and will be in a polar orbit, it will help fill in data gaps left by European weather observatories, NOAA scientist Louis Uccellini said earlier this month.

He said the satellite was carrying infrared and microwave instruments that are "basically equivalent to a slight improvement over what we are using with the European satellites".

The European Space Agency in 2010 launched CryoSat-2, the third so-called "Earth Explorer" satellite put into orbit by the agency in just over a year.

The Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Explorer mission launched in March 2009, and the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission followed in November.

All three missions are designed to study the effect of human activity on Earth's natural processes.

Read more on:    nasa  |  climate change  |  space
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Kuils River - 17:34 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Sunday Parow - 08:10 AM
    Road name: Mike Pienaar Boulevard
    WEEKENDS - ROAD CLOSED between Voortrekker Road and Tienie Meyer Drive due to roadworks (until end July)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.