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About TEMPO Satellite


NASA’s new satellite TEMPO measures air pollution hourly has shown significant progress and now the space agency officials are already thinking about ways to extend its life.


GS III: Science and Technology

TEMPO Satellite:

Mission Focus:

  • Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO).

Geographical Coverage:

  • Monitors major air pollutants across North America.

Monitoring Range:

  • Extends from Canada’s oil sands to the Yucatán Peninsula.
  • Across the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

Virtual Constellation:

  • Part of a virtual constellation with South Korea’s GEMS and the European Space Agency’s upcoming satellite.
  • Aims for comprehensive air pollution monitoring over the Northern Hemisphere.

Scientific Observations:

  • Measures ozone, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, and formaldehyde levels.

Monitoring Capability:

  • Capable of hourly air quality measurements over North America during the daytime.
  • Provides resolution at the level of several square miles.


  • Monitors effects of various sources, including rush-hour traffic, forest fires, and volcanoes.

Orbit Type:

  • Hosted in geostationary orbit.
  • In contrast to traditional low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

Operation Duration:

  • Designed for a 20-month operation period.

-Source: Hindustan Times

March 2024