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article imageSentinel-6 satellite renamed in honor of renowned US scientist

By Karen Graham     Jan 28, 2020 in Science
ESA, NASA, the European Commission, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and NOAA have renamed the upcoming Sentinel-6A satellite after Earth scientist Dr. Michael H. Freilich.
NASA - along with ESA (European Space Agency), the European Commission (EC), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - made the announcement during a special ceremony at the agency's headquarters in Washington D.C. on Tuesday morning.
The international ocean science satellite was renamed after Earth scientist Dr. Michael H. Freilich. Dr. Freilich was director of NASA’s Earth Sciences Division for more than 12 years, before retiring in February 2019. During his tenure at NASA, Dr. Freilich led the revitalization of NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing research missions.
Freilich oversaw 16 successful missions and instrument launches, and eight CubeSat/small satellite launches. Freilich also led NASA's response to the National Academy of Sciences' first-ever Earth Science and Applications from Space decadal survey in 2007, according to Space Policy Online.
Earth scientist Dr Michael H. Freilich
Earth scientist Dr Michael H. Freilich
ESA
Participants in the renaming ceremony included:
*NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
*Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for Science
*Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes
*Stephen Volz, NOAA assistant administrator for Satellite and Information Services
*Alain Ratier, EUMETSAT director-general
*Mercedes Garcia Pérez, head of Global Issues and Innovation of the European Union delegation to the United States
*Mike Freilich, former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division
ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes Josef Aschbacher, who attended the ceremony, comments, “This mission demonstrates what NASA and the European Space Agency can achieve as equal partners in such a large space project. Our suggestion to rename the satellite to ‘Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich’ is an expression of how thankful we are to Mike. Without him, this mission as it is today would not have been possible."
The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in the US on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in November 2020. The mission actually will consist of two identical satellites, Sentinel-6A and Sentinel-6B. They will be launched five years apart.
More about Sentinel6 satellite, Internation ocean science, Dr Michael H Freilich, Sea level rise, Climate
 
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