NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the Sentinel-6B mission. Sentinel-6B will continue the long-term global sea level data record begun in 1992 by Topex/Poseidon followed by Jason 1, 2, 3, and Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich. The mission is a partnership between NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ESA (European Space Agency), and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.
This is a firm fixed price contract with a value of approximately $94 million, which includes launch services and other mission related costs. The Sentinel-6B mission currently is targeted to launch November 2025, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
Sentinel-6B will use a radar altimeter to bounce signals off the ocean surface and deliver continuity of ocean topography measurements. The mission also will collect high-resolution vertical profiles of temperature, using the Global Navigation Satellite System Radio-Occultation sounding technique, to assess temperature changes in Earth’s atmosphere and improve weather prediction models.
NASA’s Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for program management of the SpaceX launch services. The Sentinel-6B project office is located at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
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