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Ocean monitoring satellite launch from Vandenberg AFB delayed until Nov. 21

The Visitor Control Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Michael Peterson)
November 09, 2020

A new ocean monitoring satellite has been rescheduled for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Nov. 21, more than a week after its original liftoff date.

The satellite, named Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, is now scheduled to launch at 9:17 p.m. Nov. 21 from Space Launch Complex-4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, according to Air Force Tech. Sgt. Patrick Harrower, spokesman for the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs.

Originally planned for Nov. 10, the launch was delayed 11 days due to problems with SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket booster, according to

Sentinel-6 is a collaboration between the European Space Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and will take environmental measurements, including the height of the ocean, which will be key in understanding climate change.

Additionally, the satellite will measure temperature and humidity in the Earth’s atmospheric layers, including the stratosphere and troposphere, or the lowest layer in which life exists, according to NASA.

The Sentinel-6 is the first of two satellites that will launch five years apart and will extend a three-decade set of ocean data. It will join a fleet of seven other Sentinel satellites, which provide up to 250 terabytes of Earth observation data on a daily basis, according to Josef Aschbacher, director of Earth Observation Programmes with the European Space Agency.


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