Inside SpaceX’s Payload Processing Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the U.S.-European Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean-monitoring satellite is being encapsulated in its payload fairing on Nov. 3, 2020. Sentinel-6 is scheduled to launch on Nov. 21, 2020, at 12:17 p.m. EST, atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

A U.S.-European partnership, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft will begin a five-and-a-half-year prime mission to collect the most accurate data yet on global sea level and how our oceans are rising in response to climate change. The mission will also collect precise data of atmospheric temperature and humidity that will help improve weather forecasts and climate models.

The spacecraft is named after Dr. Michael Freilich, the former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division and a tireless advocate for advancing satellite measurements of the ocean. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich builds on the heritage of the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission as well as the heritage and legacy of the U.S.-French TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1, 2, and 3 series of sea level observation satellites. Launched in 2016, Jason-3 is currently providing data initiated with the observations of TOPEX/Poseidon in 1992.

The data from these satellites has become the gold standard for sea level studies from space over the past 30 years. In 2025, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich’s twin, Sentinel-6B, is scheduled to launch and advance these measurements for at least another half decade.

Image Credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin

2020年11月3日,在SpaceX位于加州范登堡空军基地的有效载荷处理设施内,美欧哨兵-6号迈克尔·弗里利希海洋监测卫星将被封装在其有效载荷整流罩中。哨兵6号卫星计划于美国东部时间2020年11月21日下午12点17分,搭载SpaceX猎鹰9号火箭从范登堡空军基地的4E发射基地发射升空。

由美国和欧洲合作的哨兵-6号迈克尔·弗里利希海洋监测卫星将开始一项为期五年半的主要任务,收集迄今为止关于全球海平面的最精确数据,以及海洋如何随着气候变化而上升。该任务还将收集大气温度湿度的精确数据,这将有助于改善天气预报和气候模型

该卫星是以迈克尔·弗里利希(Michael Freilich)博士的名字命名的。弗里利希博士是美国国家航空航天局(NASA)地球科学部的前主任,他不知疲倦地倡导推进卫星对海洋的测量。迈克尔·弗里利希继承了欧洲航天局哥白尼哨兵3号任务以及美法TOPEX/Poseidon和jason-1,2和3系列海平面观测卫星的传统和遗产。Jason-3于2016年发射,目前正在提供以TOPEX/Poseidon在1992年的观测结果为基础的数据。

在过去的30年里,来自这些卫星的数据已经成为太空海平面研究的黄金标准。2025年,迈克尔·弗里利希的孪生兄弟哨兵6B号计划在至少5年的时间里继续进行这些测量。

影像来源:NASA/Randy Beaudoin

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