- The satellite increases NASA's ability to collect information on climate change
- The satellite joins a fleet already orbiting
- "The two-ton spacecraft is destined for an orbit 512 miles above the planet, " NASA says
NASA launched a satellite Friday morning in what the space agency is calling a critical first step in a new effort to observe the Earth's climate.
The satellite will increase NASA's ability to collect information on short and long term climate change.
It will also help provide more information on clouds, oceans, ice and other aspects of the Earth's atmosphere.
The satellite will join the fleet already orbiting called the Earth Observing System.
"The two-ton spacecraft is destined for an orbit 512 miles above the planet, where it will be able to see every part of the Earth," NASA said in a statement.
The satellite known as the NPOESS Preparatory Project launched at 5:48 a.m. ET from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.