NORFOLK, Va. - NASA is launching a new satellite to help scientists better understand sea level rise.
The satellite, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Saturday at 12:17 p.m.
It'll use radar to bounce signals off the ocean.
Along with tracking sea levels, it'll also help scientists track climate patterns and improve hurricane forecasts.
It's been an active hurricane season with 30 named storms so far.
"What we've seen, especially this year, is hurricanes rapidly intensifying, so one of the important reasons why hurricanes intensify is from the heat that they can use from the ocean to maintain themselves, so with Sentinel-6 we'll be able to map exactly where those spots of heat are and how much heat is stored," said Eric Leuliette, NOAA Sentinel-6 Project Scientist.
That information will help scientists get hurricane forecasts out even quicker.
A twin satellite is expected to launch in 2025.