Space X rocket

Image courtesy of NASA/SpaceX

Jason-3 Launch a Success

| published January 17, 2016 |

By Thursday Review staff

A new satellite designed specifically to measure and track sea levels and oceanographic changes was sent into orbit on Sunday, injected into space atop a rocket which lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Jason-3, a joint venture of NASA, the European Space Agency, the French agency CNES, and the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was successfully launched into orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket built by the private company SpaceX. Jason-3, once fully operational, will track environmental and oceanographic data on a detailed basis, and using state-of-the-art measuring tools.

One of the satellite’s chief missions: keeping tabs on changes in sea levels and water levels worldwide, while also provided real-time data regarding the often shifting conditions in the oceans. According to NASA, Jason-3 will be able to closely monitor more than 95 percent of the Earth’s non-ice-covered ocean. Jason-3 will also be equipped to send real time data regarding the shifting algae content, coral reef changes, growth or shrinkage of volcanic islands and shorelines, and the effects of extreme weather patterns on the often heavily-populated coastal areas of the world.

Jason-3’s data will be used cooperatively to improve weather prediction models and even day-to-day forecasting, and will include technology specifically developed to better track the force and movements of hurricanes and cyclones—violent weather events which cause billions of dollars in damage every year and take thousands of lives.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Space X Launch a Success: Vertical Landing Even Bigger Success; R. Alan Clanton; Thursday Review; December 22, 2015.

Spacewalk to Repair Cooling Systems; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; November 10, 2015.