Ocean science satellite blasts off from California
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - A rocket carrying an Earth-observing satellite has been launched from California on a mission to taste the saltiness of the ocean from space.
Liftoff occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m. PDT Friday under cloudy skies at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
It will take about an hour after liftoff for the Argentine-built satellite carrying a NASA instrument to reach orbit and unfurl its solar panels.
The $400 million mission will produce monthly maps detailing changes in salt levels in the topmost layer of the ocean and collect other environmental data.
Scientists hope the findings will help them better predict future climate change and short-term climate phenomena such as El Nino and La Nina.
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