Science

Satellites will monitor Earth’s water

Elon Mask is fascinated by space, so a Space X company’s Falcon 9 rocket launched two US-German GRACE satellite satellites on Tuesday night to monitor all kinds of changes in the Earth’s water, level of sea level, melting of ice, evaporation due to drought etc.

The two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-ons, each with a car size of 220 km, will replace the older homonymous satellites that were launched in 2002 and were up to in 2017, recording, among other things, the contraction of ice in Antarctica and Greenland.

The new joint mission of the US Space Agency (NASA) and the German $ 520 million Earth Sciences Research Center (GFZ) will monitor ocean, lake and river water as well as changes in the hydrological cycle.

As the masses of water show movements and fluctuations, this brings about changes in the gravity of the Earth, which can be taken by satellites. The microwave instruments of the two satellites are so sensitive that they can detect water changes to an accuracy of about one micron (milliseconds), about one tenth of the width of a human hair.

Outside, the two young GRACEs resemble their predecessors, but they have a new instrument, an experimental laser interferometer, which is ten times more accurate than the microwave instrument. If she works well, NASA intends to establish it.

The installation of the satellites was carried out by Airbus in Germany and the mission is expected to last for at least five years. In the future, Europe can acquire its own GRACE satellites, upgrading the Sentinel-6 mission.

With the same launch from the Vadenberg Air Force in California, five Iridium Next satellites were also launched, bringing their total number to 55. In the future, another 20 will be launched to fill the number of 75.