The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean observation satellite lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:17 a.m. PST (12:17 p.m. EST) Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (Credits: NASA TV)
by Douglas MessierManaging Editor
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket roared off the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday carrying an European-U.S. environmental satellite designed to measure global sea levels.
The booster lifted off under clear skies from the Space lLaunch Complex 4E with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite at 9:17 a.m. PST. The spacecraft, which is the size of a small pickup truck, successfully deployed in orbit and unfolded its solar arrays after separating from the Falcon 9’s second stage.
Falcon 9’s first stage made a successful landing back at Space Launch Complex 4E. The booster created a loud sonic boom that rang out across the sprawling U.S. Air Force Base.
Data returned by Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will be added to a nearly 30-year continuous dataset on sea levels collected by American and European satellites. The data will provide detailed information on large-scale weather currents that will assist with ...