Launching a new space tool to measure air pollution!

A satellite was launched from Thursday to Friday night from Florida, loaded with a new device belonging to the US Space Agency (NASA), which provides hour-by-hour and live measurements of air pollution over North America.

Dubbed TEMPO, this scientific instrument should make it possible to track the spread of pollutants with much greater precision than has been possible until now, starting at the source of their emission and throughout their spread by wind.

This data can be used in a variety of applications, such as improving alerts to residents of poor air quality, better determining where on the ground new detectors should be installed, aiding research on the impact of atmospheric pollutants on health, and tracking pollution from wildfires. It is becoming more frequent due to global warming.

The satellites used so far to provide this kind of data for the United States are located at an altitude of about 700 km and orbit the Earth about 15 times a day.

Tempo, which weighs just under 140 kilograms, will be connected to a satellite in geostationary orbit, located at an altitude of more than 35,000 km. Therefore, it will revolve around the Earth in conjunction with its rotation on itself, which enables it to always remain over North America.

The satellite was launched at 0:30 Friday (4:30 GMT) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Vice President of “Intelsat” Jean-Luc Froliger said that the satellite will push itself to reach the orbital location scheduled for it, expecting that this process will take about two weeks.

Tempo, whose mission will last at least two years but will likely be longer, joined NASA’s fleet of about 25 Earth observation missions.

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