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NASA Lines Up Four Earth Science Missions for 2022

Observational satellite

NASA Lines Up Four Earth Science Missions for 2022

NASA is gearing up for four Earth science missions in 2022 aimed at providing observational data on weather conditions, mineral dust, oceans and surface water.

The first mission on NASA’s 2022 agenda is dubbed Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of SmallSats. TROPICS will feature six CubeSats scheduled for launch in March aboard an Astra Space rocket, SpaceNews reported.

William Blackwell, TROPICS principal investigator and associate group leader at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, told reporters that the CubeSats will offer data on weather conditions every 60 minutes.

Collected data will improve hurricane tracking and intensification forecasts, Blackwell said, aiding disaster management efforts.

Also in the NASA pipeline is a mission called Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation. The EMIT instrument is headed to the International Space Station in May to provide a better understanding of mineral dust heating or cooling of the Earth, according to Robert Green of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The third mission will feature the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s second Joint Polar Satellite System, which is set to take off in September via a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

JPSS-2 will function as a polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system similar to its predecessors and will be equipped with a visible infrared imaging radiometer suite, ozone mapping and profiler technologies, an advanced technology microwave sounder and a cross-track infrared sounder.

The final mission, Surface Water and Ocean Topography, is a collaboration between NASA and French, Canadian and U.K. space agencies. Scheduled for launch in November, SWOT will produce detailed maps of the surface elevation of water.

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Category: Space

Tags: Earth science EMIT JPSS NASA NOAA Robert Green space SpaceNews SWOT TROPICS William Blackwell