Some of the advanced data the satellite will collect is information on Arctic sea ice, volcanic ash composition, sea surface temperatures, solar radiation, the ozone layer, atmospheric pressure, and general climate information that will help study the climate changes in the different regions on Earth. Scientists are very enthusiastic to receive this data as it will be more accurate than anything else they have ever received from a satellite.
The new satellite was launched this last Friday around 3:00 a.m. (Oct 28, 2011) from the California coast at Vandenberg Air Force Base inside a Delta 2 Rocket. The weather for the launch was perfect with very clear skies and virtually no wind. The satellite separated from the rocket about an hour after launch and navigated after that using solar panels. The cost for this project is about $1.5 billion dollars The satellite itself is larger than one might envision - about the size of a small sports utility vehicle! It is orbiting 512 miles above Earth.