SpaceX Falcon 9 to Launch NASA’s Sentinel-6B Mission

Photo: SpaceX

NASA has selected SpaceX to launch its Sentinel-6B mission, according to a press release shared on Tuesday.

The Sentinel-6B mission will be launched using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, building upon the long-term global sea level data work by the Topex and Poseidon missions of the 1990s, the Jason 1, 2, 3 missions and the work of Michael Freilich on the Sentinel-6 mission.

SpaceX and NASA have a firm fixed-price contract valued at $94 million for the launch of Sentinel-6B, which will cover the launch and other mission-adjacent costs.

The Sentinel-6B unit is equipped with a radar altimeter which will bounce signals off the surface of the ocean, delivering topographical measurements of the ocean on a continual basis.

Additionally, it will be used to collect high-resolution vertical profiles of temperature with the help of the Global Navigation Satellite System Radio-Occultation sounding technique. This will help the agency assess temperature changes throughout Earth’s atmosphere, and help improve weather prediction models.

The mission will take place in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

SpaceX has also been awarded with multiple crewed lunar landings by NASA, as well as a handful of other launch contracts.