Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO): NASA launches device to monitor air pollution from space

Source: The post is based on the article “NASA launches device to monitor air pollution from space” published in Indian Express on 10th April 2023

What is the News?

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument from Florida, USA.

What is Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution(TEMPO)?

TEMPO is a NASA device that can track air pollution over North America from space. 

It will allow scientists to monitor air pollutants and their emission sources down to the neighbourhood level.

What is special about TEMPO?

A unique feature of TEMPO is that it will be hosted on an Intelsat communications satellite in a geostationary orbit.

Existing pollution-monitoring satellites are in low Earth orbit, which means they can only provide observations once a day at a fixed time.

Why is the TEMPO mission important?

More than 40%of the US population, 137 million people, live in places with unhealthy levels of particle pollution or ozone. Air pollution is blamed for some 60,000 premature deaths a year.

What is a Geostationary orbit?

The geostationary orbit is a special case of the geosynchronous orbit, which is any orbit with a period equal to Earth’s rotation period. 

The height of a geostationary orbit is approximately 35,786 kilometers (22,236 miles) above the Earth’s equator.

It is a common orbit for weather satellites and communications satellites.

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