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U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology

11/21/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/21/2020 11:39

Chairwomen Johnson and Horn Statement on Successful Launch of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite

November 21, 2020

Chairwomen Johnson and Horn Statement on Successful Launch of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite

(Washington, DC) - Today the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Earth observing satellite will monitor sea level and collect atmospheric data to improve our understanding of our changing climate. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is a joint U.S.-European mission named to honor former director of NASA's Earth Science Division, Dr. Michael Freilich, who passed away this summer. This is the first international satellite mission to study the Earth that is named after an American. Dr. Freilich was a steadfast supporter of advancing satellite measurements of the ocean and strengthening Earth science.
'Today we celebrate another momentous feat in research and innovation with the successful launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite,' said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). 'This international collaborative mission will strengthen our efforts to observe the Earth and build upon our understanding of climate change and its impacts around the globe. The knowledge we gain throughout the Sentinel-6 mission will no doubt honor the legacy of its namesake, Dr. Freilich, by collecting crucial data that will inform international climate research for many years to come. I would like to extend my sincere thanks and congratulations to all those who have worked to ensure this launch was successful.'
'Today's successful launch of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft builds upon our decades long international partnership to monitor and collect data about sea levels from space,' said Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Chairwoman Kendra Horn (D-OK).'I want to congratulate everyone who made this mission a success and take a moment to remember the late Dr. Michael Freilich, the former NASA Earth Science Division Director, who was a tireless advocate for advancing satellite measurements of the ocean. NASA's research and the data collected from this mission is critical in our efforts to mitigate the climate crisis.'