NASA Launches its First Earth Observing Space Mission
FREMONT, CA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), launches its first Earth observation satellite, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) to provide information of the hidden soil moisture and it’s frozen/thaw state.
The combined radar and radiometer instruments of SMAP will examine the top five centimeters of the soil through clouds and moderate vegetation cover, everyday, to give the highest resolution and most reliable soil moisture maps from space. Its observatory will be used for three years to help people better understand how soil moisture connects the water, energy and carbon cycles used on the earth.
SMAP is beneficial for weather and climate prediction and help scientists in monitoring droughts and predict flooding. The data obtained from the SMAP will help in predicting crop harvests and this data will help in detecting variations during spring thaw.
"The launch of SMAP completes an ambitious 11-month period for NASA that has seen the launch of five new Earth-observing space missions to help us better understand our changing planet. Scientists and policymakers will use SMAP data to track water movement around our planet and make more informed decisions in critical areas like agriculture and water resources," says Charles Bolden, Administrator, NASA.