NASA names ocean observation satellite after noted Earth scientist

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — NASA and several partners announced Tuesday they have announced the renaming of a key ocean observation satellite, launching this fall, in honor of Earth scientist Michael Freilich, who retired last year as head of NASA´s Earth Science division, a position he held since 2006.

NASA and several partners have announced they have honored Earth scientist Michael Freilich by renaming a key ocean observation satellite after him, the agency said.

Freilich retired last year as head of NASA´s Earth Science division, a position he held since 2006, the agency said.

NASA — along with ESA (European Space Agency), the European Commission (EC), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — made the announcement during a special event at the agency´s headquarters.

The Sentinel-6A/Jason CS satellite, scheduled to launch this fall from Vandenberg Air Force base in California, will now be known as Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich. The mission aims to continue high precision ocean altimetry measurements in the 2020/2030 timeframe using two identical satellites launching five years apart — Sentinel-6A Michael Freilich and Sentinel-6B.

NASA uses the unique vantage point of space and suborbital platforms to better understand Earth as an interconnected system for societal benefit. The agency also develops new technologies and approaches to observe and study Earth with long-term data records, research, modeling, and computer analysis tools to quantify how our planet is changing. NASA shares this knowledge with the global community, including managers and policymakers domestically and internationally to understand and protect our home planet.