November 26, 2020

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AfricaTopForum – News Around Africa

SpaceX to launch Starlink batch and ocean-mapping satellite this weekend

2 min read

SpaceX has a busy weekend ahead. The space exploration company is set to launch the 15th batch of Starlink satellites from the Cape Canaveral launch pad.

Over at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, SpaceX would also be launching the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite (known as Jason-CS A).

SpaceX launches on 21 November

Jason-CS A launch

SpaceX partnered with ESA (European Space Agency), NASA, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), CNES (National Centre for Space Studies), and Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) for this mission.

At 12:17 Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite (Jason-CS A, for short) will launch from the Vanderberg Air Force Base atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

For us in South Africa, that would be 19:17 South African Standard Time (SAST). However, if you’re viewing from elsewhere in the world, take note of the following times:

  • 19:17 Pacific Time (PT) on Saturday 21 November
  • 11:17 Central Time (CT) in the United States on Saturday 21 November
  • 18:17 British Summer Time (BST) on Saturday 21 November
  • 22:47 India Standard time (ISD) on Saturday 21 November
  • 1:17 CST (Chinese Standard Time) on Sunday 22 November
  • 2:17 Japan Standard Time (JST) on Sunday 22 November
  • 4:17 Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on Sunday 22 November
  • 6:17 for you on Monday, 19 October NZDT (New Zealand Daylight Time) on Sunday 22 November

Watch: Jason-CS A satellite launch

The Jason-CS A is a new ocean-mapping satellite. It will help scientists further understand the impacts of climate change by examining coastal sea rise and tracking underwater ocean waves.

Karen St. Germain, NASA’s director of the Earth science division, explains that the satellite’s precision measurements of sea levels will be crucial to understanding overall ocean warming.

“The Earth is a global system of intricate and dynamic interactions between oceans, land, ice, the atmosphere; and also human communities, and that global system is changing. Increasingly, decision-makers in the public sector and the private sector at all levels are turning to the Earth science community to understand those changes to inform, frankly, both the risks and the opportunities about which they have to make crucial decisions.”

Starlink 15: Satellite launch

The 15th batch of Starlink satellites will be carried into low-Earth orbit atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday 21 November at 22:17 Eastern Standard Time (EST).

That would be 5:17 on Sunday 22 November if you’re viewing from South Africa; or 19:17 on Saturday Pacific Time (PT) and 4:17 on Sunday British Standard Time (BTS).

However, if you’re based in India, get ready for 8:47 ISD on Sunday. China, set your alarm for 11:17 CST (Chinese Standard Time). In addition, viewers from Japan can tune in from 12:17 Japan Standard Time (JST).

Those in Australia will need to be ready at 14:17 Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). New Zealanders, that’s 16:17 NZDT (New Zealand Daylight Time) for you.

Moreover, the event will also be streamed on SpaceX’s website, and video clips will be shared on social media as well.

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