NASA launches new mission to observe the 'invisible universe' on Earth

NASA has launched a new mission using SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket to study the 'invisible universe' within Earth's atmosphere, water, and air.

1 minute & 16 seconds read time

NASA has recently launched its latest mission to study the "invisible universe" on and around Earth, with the ultimate goal of studying the microscopic aspects of our planet that go unseen every day.

NASA launches new mission to observe the 'invisible universe' on Earth 151515

The new mission is called PACE, or the Plankton, Aerosol, Climate, ocean Ecosystem satellite (PACE), and it was launched into Earth's orbit on the back of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The space agency was able to confirm a signal from PACE approximately 5 minutes after launch, and according to NASA, the satellite is operating nominally.

So, what will PACE aim to achieve? NASA's newest satellite will study the impact of "invisible things," such as "microscopic life in water and microscopic particles in the air". The PACE satellite is equipped with a hyperspectral ocean color instrument that will enable researchers to scan bodies of water across the spectrum of ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light.

This instrument will enable scientists to track for the first from space distribution of phytoplankton while also providing coastal managers with critical data to help track and forecast the health of fisheries, track harmful algal blooms, and identify changes within marine environments.

As for atmospheric research, PACE is equipped with two polarimeter instruments: Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter #2 and Spectro-polarimeter for Planetary Exploration. These instruments are dedicated to tracking the interaction of sunlight on atmospheric molecules, which will provide researchers with information on atmospheric aerosols and cloud properties.

In a nutshell, the PACE satellite is designed to track the interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, and sunlight.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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