KSC-06PD-0755 • Earth.com

Last update: December 14th, 2019 at 8:00 am

CloudSat and CALIPSO ¯ Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations ¯ thunders skyward after launch at approximately 6:02 a.m. EDT atop a Boeing Delta II rocket. The two satellites will eventually circle approximately 438 miles above Earth in a sun-synchronous polar orbit, which means they will always cross the equator at the same local time. Their technologies will enable scientists to study how clouds and aerosols form, evolve and interact. CloudSat is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif. JPL developed the radar instrument with hardware contributions from the Canadian Space Agency. CALIPSO is collaboration between NASA and France’s Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES). Langley Research Center, in Hampton, Va., is leading the CALIPSO mission and providing overall project management, systems engineering, and payload mission operations. Photo credit: Boeing/Thom Baur

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