A satellite to measure the heights of the oceans was launched successfully on Sunday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
(From the New York Times) — The Jason-3 mission, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Eumetsat, a European weather satellite agency, will bounce radar signals off the water to precisely measure the sea surface height within a couple of inches. The data will help scientists track rising seas as global temperatures increase. The data will also be used to track the speed and direction of ocean currents, aiding the forecasts of hurricanes.
The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, which launched the satellite on one of its Falcon 9 rockets, had aimed to recover the first-stage booster but was unable to do so. Last month, SpaceX successfully landed a Falcon 9 booster at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This time, one of the landing legs failed to lock, and the booster tipped over as it attempted to set down on a platform in the Pacific.
Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/18/science/space/satellite-tracking-rising-seas-jason-3.html?ref=topics