Today at 5.17pm, a satellite called The Copernicus Sentinel-6 will launch from California on board a SpaceX spacecraft, weather permitting. So, Space Hub's own, Dr Niamh Shaw is going to tell us a bit more about what is happening and why this mission is so important.

This satellite will be used to measure sea levels changes on our planet. The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite is the first of two identical satellites to provide critical measurements of sea-level change.

 

Once safely in orbit, the satellite will continue the long-term record of reference sea-surface height measurements and extend the records of sea level into its fourth decade. The satellite will map 95% of Earth's ice-free ocean every ten days and provide crucial information for operational oceanography and climate studies.

Since sea-level rise is a key indicator of climate change, accurately monitoring the changing height of the sea surface over decades is essential for climate science, for policy-making and for protecting those in low-lying regions at risk.

Our Space Hub supremo Dr Niamh Shaw will be tweeting for ESA about the launch live or you can join her in watching  the launch live here: 

WATCH THE LAUNCH

Niamh’s Twitter is: @dr_niamh_shaw