NOAA Readies for Satellite Takeoff

The agency focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere is getting one step closer to launching a half-dozen satellites designed to enhance weather forecasts and space weather monitoring.

The six satellites, known as COSMIC-2, are slated to launch no earlier than June 24 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Each satellite has instruments that detect electron density and other space weather information in the ionosphere. They also record atmospheric density, temperature, pressure and moisture.

The data from those instruments will be fed into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration computer models used by forecasters to predict weather and climate and to monitor dynamic changes in Earth's ionosphere, which would help with better weather and solar forecasts.

“COSMIC-2, in concert with the infrared and microwave sounding instruments carried on polar-orbiting satellites operated by NOAA and its U.S. and international partners, will help provide a complete set of global data for use in NOAA’s operational weather prediction models,” acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs said in a June 11 announcement.

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