NASAJPL--GRAIL Pre-launch News Conference-9-6-11

NASAJPL--GRAIL Pre-launch News Conference-9-6-11

September 6, 2011 at 9:59am on NASA JPL Live 36,379 followers

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UPCOMING SHOWS
SMAP Post-Launch Briefing
Jan. 30, 2015, 9:00 a.m PT (noon ET, 1700 UTC)

Launch update:

1-29-2015 - NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory, which will produce the highest-resolution and most accurate maps of soil moisture ever obtained from space, is scrubbed today from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. There was no time left to resolve the upper level wind shear constraint before the end of today's launch window, so managers have decided to postpone launch by 24 hours.


Following launch, SMAP observatory and mission officials will hold a post-launch news conference to provide the spacecraft status and discuss its state of health, as well as the status of the ELaNa CubeSats.

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.

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