The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite into space, which is designed to study the ocean, monitor air quality and monitor the effects of climate change. The device was launched into orbit using a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which launched today from the Cape Canaveral launch site in Florida at 01:33 local time (09:33 Moscow time).
About five minutes after launch, the satellite was delivered to the intended orbit, and NASA specialists were able to communicate with it. “Congratulations to the PACE team on the successful launch. In addition to NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites, PACE will help us better understand how particles in our atmosphere and oceans may determine key factors influencing global warming.”said NASA head Bill Nelson.
Located about 800 km above the Earth’s surface, the PACE satellite will study the effects of tiny, often invisible, particles in the planet’s water and atmosphere. The design of the device includes the Ocean Color Instrument, which is an optical spectrometer for observing the ocean and other bodies of water. It will help scientists monitor the distribution of phytoplankton and study the communities of these microorganisms. PACE is also equipped with the HARP2 polarimeter and the SPEXone spectropolarimeter, which will help learn more about the interaction of sunlight with microparticles in the atmosphere.