NASA to launch four Earth science missions in 2022 — All you need to know
- NASA has planned four Earth science missions for 2022.
- These missions will provide data to help scientists better understand climatic and weather conditions.
- NASA’s Earth-observing satellites will be used for these missions.
The four NASA science missions include TROPICS, EMIT, NOAA’s JPSS-2 and SWOT. Each mission is designed to observe different climatic systems of Earth. The TROPICS for example will use six small satellites to examine and provide rapid measurements of tropical cyclones. EMIT will trace the origin and composition of mineral dust using an imaging spectrometer from the International Space Station (ISS). NOAA’s JPSS-2 will help scientists in predicting extreme weather conditions, and SWOT will examine surface waters and their role in climate change.
For this mission, NASA will use six satellites about the size of a loaf of bread to observe tropical cyclones. These satellites will travel in pairs and in three different orbits providing microwave observations of a “storm's precipitation, temperature, and humidity as quickly as every 50 minutes.” This data is expected to help scientists in better understanding what causes the disastrous tropical cyclones and also help in weather forecasting.
Through the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) mission, NASA will use satellites to learn where dust originates and how it affects the planet. NASA plans to use an imaging spectrometer that measures visible and infrared light reflecting from surfaces below This mission will take place for one year and it will be installed on the ISS.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA’s Joint Polar Satellite System satellites that currently orbit the Earth provide data that help in forecasting extreme storms. These satellites also provide information about floods, wildfires, volcanoes, smog, dust storms, and sea ice. NASA is now planning to launch the JPSS-2 satellite in 2022 that will further aid in helping scientists forecast extreme weather conditions. There are three more such satellites planned for the future.
NASA’s Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission will collect data from the Earth’s surface water bodies like the oceans, lakes and rivers, and how much climate change affects these freshwater bodies. It will also provide data on the ocean’s ability to absorb excess heat and greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.
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