UPCOMING SHOWS SMAP SOCIAL MEDIA EVENT
Jan. 28, 2015, 9:30 a.m PT (12:30 p.m. ET, 1730 UTC)
In conjunction with the SMAP launch, NASA is holding a NASA Social, bringing together mission scientists and engineers with an audience of 70 students, educators, social media managers, bloggers, photographers and videographers who were selected from a pool of 325 applicants from 45 countries.
The launch of NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 29. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 2 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is targeted for 6:20:42 a.m. PST (9:20:42 a.m. EST) at the opening of a three-minute launch window. If needed, a backup launch opportunity is available on the Western Range on Jan. 30 with the same launch window.
SMAP is the first U.S. Earth-observing satellite designed to collect global observations of surface soil moisture and its freeze/thaw state. High-resolution space-based measurements of soil moisture and whether the soil is frozen or thawed will give scientists a new capability to better predict natural hazards of extreme weather, climate change, floods and droughts, and will help reduce uncertainties in our understanding of Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.
The mission will provide the most accurate and highest-resolution maps of soil moisture ever obtained, mapping the globe every two to three days from space for a least three years. The spacecraft's final circular polar orbit will be 426 miles (685 kilometers) at an inclination of 98.1 degrees. The spacecraft will orbit Earth once every 98.5 minutes and will repeat the same ground track every eight days.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory invites you to watch live and chat about everything from Mars rovers to monitoring asteroids to cool cosmic discoveries. From the lab to the lecture hall, get information directly from scientists and engineers working on NASA's latest missions.
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