On Saturday, November 21, from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 09:17 Pacific Standard Time or 17:17 UTC, SpaceX launched the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich oceanography satellite in cooperation with NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the European Space Agency, and various other partners. The pickup truck-size satellite will track global sea level. It will collect the most accurate data yet on the global sea level and how it shifts in response to climate change. Scientists can also use the data to forecast areas.
This was the 108th mission in general for the SpaceX company since its creation in May 2002. Sentinel-6A Michael Freilich is the latest in a series of spacecraft designed to monitor changes in sea states and aims to continue high precision ocean altimetry measurements in the 2020-2030 timeframe. The Sentinel-6A satellite’s on-orbit attitude will be managed by a system consisting of sensors, actuators, and software. The Sentinel-6 mission was one of many that SpaceX hopes to launch before the end of 2020, with others like Starlink V1 L15 (16th Starlink flight overall), NROL-108, CRS-21 (the first Cargo Dragon 2 resupply mission to the ISS), SXM-7, and Turksat-5A still waiting.