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NASA Launches Satellite to Study Polar Regions


Sat 25 May 2024 | 07:01 PM
Israa Farhan

NASA has successfully launched a research satellite aimed at measuring the amount of heat lost into space from the Arctic and Antarctica.

According to CNN, the satellites were launched today, Saturday, from the rocket launch complex in Māhia, New Zealand.

The climate science mission, known as the Polar Radiant Energy in the Far Infrared Experiment (PREFIRE), seeks to enhance scientists' understanding of how water vapor, clouds, and other atmospheric elements trap heat and prevent it from radiating into space.

NASA stated that the data collected from this mission could lead to better predictions about the impacts of the climate crisis on sea levels, weather patterns, snow, and ice cover.

The Earth absorbs significant energy from the sun in tropical regions, which is then transported towards the poles by weather systems and ocean currents, where it radiates upward into space.

Much of this heat is emitted in far-infrared wavelengths, which have not been systematically measured before.

The PREFIRE mission consists of two satellites equipped with specialized miniaturized thermal sensors. The second satellite is scheduled to launch shortly after the first.

Once deployed, the two satellites will be in near-polar, asynchronous orbits, passing over specific points at different times.