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NASA Unveils New Designation for Ocean Observation Satellite

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NASA has renamed an ocean observation satellite that will operate to carry out high-precision altimetry measurements through 2030.

Named in honor of a retired scientist from NASA's Earth science division, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is slated to take off at the fall and will explore the potential effects of global warming to oceans, Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Tuesday.

The former Sentinel-6A/Jason CS satellite will also employ the Global Navigation Satellite Sounding Radio-Occultation approach to gather vertical profiles of temperature and derive atmospheric information in a move to augment weather forecast capacities.

"Together with other missions of the European Union's Earth Observation Programme Copernicus, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will contribute to improved knowledge and understanding of the role of the ocean in climate change and for mitigation and adaptation policies in coastal areas," said Mercedes Garcia-Perez, head of the Global Issues and Innovation of the European Union Delegation to the United States.

JPL will perform project management duties in line with the mission.