NASA Launches SMAP Satellite that Will Measure Earth’s Soil Moisture

January 4, 2015 2:45 PM

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NASA announced a new satellite launch on January 29. The SMAP satellite is designed to measure the whole planet’s soil moisture and report it back to scientists. NASA hopes the new satellite would be a valuable tool for farmers in fighting droughts.

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) is the satellite with the largest mesh antenna by far. SMAP mission’s team calls the rotating antenna a “spinning lasso.” The “lasso” is 19.7 feet wide and is attached to an arm with a crook in its elbow. The antenna is designed to perform 14 full rotations pe...

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