Science & Technology

Bad weather delays PACE space mission launch to Wednesday

Science Desk, Feb 6 (EFE).- NASA and SpaceX suspended the launch of their latest space mission due to unfavorable weather conditions after takeoff was scheduled for Tuesday.

The Plankton, Aerosols, Clouds and Ocean Ecosystems, or PACE mission, was to lift off at 06:33pm GMT from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The next attempt will be at 06:33 GMT on Wednesday, NASA reported on its website, adding that both the PACE satellite and the Falcon 9 rocket remain in good condition.

With unprecedented technology, PACE will expand and improve NASA’s more than 20 years of global satellite observations of the ocean, atmospheric aerosols and clouds, and initiate an advanced set of climate-relevant data records.

By determining the distribution of phytoplankton, the mission will help assess the health of oceans and continue key measurements related to air quality and climate.

The effects of climate change on the ocean are numerous, from rising sea levels to marine heat waves, to the loss of biodiversity.

With PACE, researchers will be able to study its effect on marine life in its smallest form. Current satellites are capable of revealing the amount of phytoplankton, the tiny plants and algae that support the marine food chain, on the ocean surface, but they do not detect the diversity of species, which this US space agency mission will do.

With at least a three-year lifespan, the satellite will reach an orbit of 676.5 kilometers and, according to NASA, the mission will revolutionize the way oceans are studied. EFE

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