New NASA SMAP satellite already measuring surface water

February 2, 2015 8:10 PM

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The satellite's successful Saturday launch -- the third try, after the first two attempts were cancelled -- is the fifth earth science mission NASA has executed in the past 11 months. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite will have a very specific task. As its name implies, SMP will be used to map water levels in Earth's soil.

"The next few years will be especially exciting for Earth science thanks to measurements from SMAP and our other new missions," Michael Freilich, director of the Earth Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, explained in a press release.

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