Members at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, launched the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite on November 21, at 9:17 a.m., PST.
The Sentinel-6 is the first of two identical satellites to head into Earth orbit five years apart to continue sea level observations for at least the next decade. The first satellite will be followed in 2025 by its twin, Sentinel-6B. Instruments aboard the satellites will also provide atmospheric data that will improve weather forecasts, climate models, and hurricane tracking.
Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander was the space launch commander for this mission.
“The Western Range is excited to provide the opportunity for this unique launch,” said Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander. “Working together with NASA and SpaceX to provide a successful launch takes planning and teamwork and I am proud of the work my 30th Space Wing members have done today. The technology from this satellite will provide critical data for scientific research and lay the framework for future generations to study the ocean.”
The 30th Space Wing’s primary responsibilities include maintaining and operating the Western Range, providing mission assurance, safeguarding the public and ensuring minimal environmental impact so we can provide services, facilities and range safety control for the execution of Department of Defense (DOD), civilian and commercial launches.