A satellite that will allow British scientists to measure sea levels has been launched into space on a SpaceX rocket.
Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich was successfully launched into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from a launch pad in California.
The Sentinel-4, which is the size of a small 4×4 vehicle, will orbit the Earth from 830 miles above, and the collection of ocean data is considered crucial for monitoring climate change.
Climate and marine experts at the Met Office and the National Ocean Center will analyze UK data to help predict what global sea levels will look like in the future.
Climate change Warming the planet and melting the world’s glaciers and polar ice caps are contributing to sea level changes.
According to the European Space Agency (ESA), sea levels have risen by an average of more than 3 millimeters per year since 1993, although it has risen by 4.6 mm in the last few years.
It is expected to rise further as global warming peaks.
The Sentinel-6 will provide the only means of accurately measuring global sea levels and will help protect the world’s over 100 million people who live in protected coastal areas, the UK government said.
The satellite is named after Dr. Michael Freilich, former head of NASA’s Department of Earth Sciences, and is part of the Copernicus mission under the European Union’s Earth observation program.
It was jointly developed by ESA, the European agency Exploration of Meteorological Satellites, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
UK Science Minister Amanda Soloy said: “Following the rising sea level is one of the most important indicators of our planet’s warming.
“This government-backed satellite will be equipped with critical data from our top scientists, researchers and meteorologists to measure the real impact of climate change on our planet.”