The in will launch on February 6 PACE (plankton, aerosol, clouds, and ocean ecosystems), a new mission that studies microscopic life in water and air to interpret what effect these particles have on the climate. and the warming of the planet.
It was explained this Wednesday by a group of scientists from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration in a media call about the objectives of the new mission, which is planned to launch in less than 20 days.
“This knowledge can guide political decisions aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change and improving our capacity to prepare for and respond to it,” said the deputy administrator of inPam, Melroy.
Once in orbit over the Earth, according to the director of the Earth Sciences Division (ESD) at Karen St. Germain, PACE is expected to also help answer “questions about how the ocean and atmosphere interact in today’s changing climate.
“There is no denying that we are immersed in the climate crisis,” added St. Germaine.
- Therefore, he considers that PACE represents “an important step in the permanent commitment to unraveling the mysteries of Earth’s climate.
Precisely, the space agency confirmed last week that, due to the climate crisis, 2023 will be the hottest year on record since world records began in 1880.
Scientists hope that PACE will reveal “complex mechanisms,” as St. Germain said, where particles suspended in the air and clouds influence the absorption and scattering of solar energy by the Earth.
- “Many of the mysteries of science that have not yet been discovered live in the water and the air, and many of them are invisible to the eye,” explained the deputy director of operations for the Earth Sciences Division of the Goddard Center for Space, JJacob Richmond to emphasize the relevance of the project.
With PACE, scientists have “important data” about suspended particles of sea salt, smoke, pollutants of human origin, and dust, observing how they interact with light.
To get this data, the mission will use two state-of-the-art polarimeters to scan the Earth and collect data on the chemical composition, movement, and interaction of particles and clouds.
These scientific instruments are used to measure the angle of rotation caused by the transmission of polarized light when passing through an active optical component.
The time to launch the orbit ofthe mission It is 60 days, and it is expected that, approximately in the middle of this period, the instruments will begin to collect data and that, between days 40 and 50, the first images will be published.
The project, which will focus on the “impact of small things,” has a budget of 939.3 million dollars, as specified by the scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center and PACE project director, Mark Voyton.
At the conference, speakers raved about a mission that “the scientific community has been proposing for over 20 years,” emphasized PACE project scientist Jeremy Werdell.