Meet the People Behind the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Spacecraft

Launching soon from the California coast, the satellite will track sea levels worldwide. A new video series introduces some of the NASA JPL scientists and engineers involved in the mission.

The world’s latest ocean-monitoring satellite is being
readied for its Nov. 10 launch from California, and there’s a new video series that
focuses on some of the many people behind the mission.

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft will ensure
continuity of the Jason series of operational missions, better our
understanding of our rising seas, and help shape the future of sea-level

Designed to collect the most accurate satellite data for our
ongoing measurements of global sea level and help us understand how our oceans
are responding to climate change. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is the product of
a partnership between NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency), the European
Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Our planet is changing. Our ocean is rising. And it affects us all. That’s why a new international satellite will continue the decades-long watch over our global ocean and help us better understand how climate change is reshaping our planet. Meet some of the talented people behind Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and get to know the satellite.

With the new video series “Behind the Spacecraft,”
you can learn about some of engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who helped
build instruments for the satellite, as well as scientists who will use the sea
level and atmospheric data it collects:

  • Ben
    has pondered how our planet works since he was a kid. Having witnessed
    the impacts of rising sea levels while living near the ocean, Ben is driven to
    use satellite observations to help support communities that are most at risk
    from the effects of sea level rise.
  • Shailen
    loves data. As a measurement system engineer for Sentinel-6 Michael
    Freilich, he will use the satellite’s data to help us understand how the ocean affects
    everyone – including people in landlocked countries like his native Zimbabwe.
  • Parag
    ‘s childhood dream was to work in the space industry and make a
    difference in the world. Having worked on sea level satellites over three
    decades, the project manager for the Sentinel-6 mission feels a personal
    satisfaction seeing the latest ocean monitoring satellite come to fruition.
  • Severine
    is an oceanographer who will use the data from the mission to
    better understand how the ocean moves. She grew up in France and sees sea-level
    science as an international pursuit, in which the observations made by
    satellites can give us a unique – and global – perspective.
  • Shannon
    helped build and test the spacecraft’s microwave radiometer, which
    will help provide precise measurements of the world’s ocean surface. But it’s
    not just the hardware that’s important for this mission; Shannon also believes
    a little creativity goes a long way in answering some of the biggest science

Produced by NASA 360
, the full video series can be watched

JPL will also be hosting live chats with these team members at
on Wednesdays, starting with Ben Hamlington on Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. PDT (5 p.m.
EDT). Questions can be submitted via social media using the #SeeingTheSeas
hashtag or in the comments of the YouTube and Facebook livestreams.

More About the Mission

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich will
launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc,
California. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space
Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.

spacecraft is named after Dr. Michael Freilich, the former director of NASA’s
Earth Science Division and a tireless advocate for advancing satellite
measurements of the ocean.
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is one of two
identical spacecraft that compose the Sentinel-6/Jason-CS (Continuity of
Service) mission developed in partnership with ESA (the European Space Agency).
The spacecraft’s twin, Sentinel-6B, will launch in 2025. Other partners include
the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites
(EUMETSAT), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
with funding support from the European Commission and technical support from
France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES).

JPL, a division of Caltech in
Pasadena, is contributing three science instruments for each Sentinel-6
satellite: the Advanced Microwave Radiometer, the Global Navigation Satellite
System – Radio Occultation, and the Laser Retroreflector Array. NASA is also
contributing launch services, ground systems supporting operation of the NASA
science instruments, the science data processors for two of these instruments,
and support for the international Ocean Surface Topography Science Team.

To learn more about NASA’s study
of sea level science, visit:

For more information about
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, visit:

News Media Contact

Ian J. O’Neill / Jane J. Lee

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

818-354-2649 / 818-354-0307 /


Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *