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Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

Recently, Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched from the Vandenberg Air Force base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.


  • Sentinel-6-Satellite is a part of the mission dedicated to measuring changes in the global sea level. The mission is called the Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) mission.
  • The Objective of the mission is to measure the height of the ocean, which is a key component in understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing.
  • It consists of two satellites, Sentinel-6 and the other, called Sentinel-6B, to be launched in 2025.

How does it work?

  • The satellite will send pulses to the Earth’s surface and measure how long they take to return to it, which will help in measuring the sea surface height. It will also measure water vapour along this path and find its position using GPS and ground-based lasers.
  • As per NASA, this will help in monitoring critical changes in ocean currents and heat storage only from space, by measuring height of the sea surface.
  • This will in turn help in foreseeing the effects of the changing oceans on the climate.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023