NASA's 'space botanist' gathers first data

NASA’s ‘space botanist’ gathers first data

ECOSTRESS acquired this picture the night time of July 9 over Egypt. Yellow and pink point out typically greater temperatures. The River Nile is seen as a skinny blue line on the primary picture. The black-and-white inset reveals the extent of element out there from ECOSTRESS, with the comparatively cool Nile River and surrounding vegetation showing darker. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Just days after its profitable set up on the International Space Station, NASA’s latest Earth-observing mission, the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS), has collected its first science data on Earth’s floor temperature.

ECOSTRESS will measure the temperature of vegetation from area, enabling researchers to find out how a lot water vegetation use and to check how droughts have an effect on plant well being.

The was launched June 29 from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a SpaceX cargo resupply mission. It rode to orbit within the “trunk” of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which berthed on the station on July 2. On July 5, floor controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston extracted ECOSTRESS from the trunk, robotically transferred it to the station’s Japanese Experiment Module—Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) and put in it. After a couple of days of testing and start-up actions, ECOSTRESS acquired its first-light picture on July 9.

“Often satellite missions require weeks or months to produce data of the quality that we are already getting from ECOSTRESS,” stated the mission’s principal investigator, Simon Hook of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. ECOSTRESS is considered one of a brand new class of low-cost, rapid-development NASA science devices. The ECOSTRESS instrument was launched lower than 4 years after the undertaking was began.

The ECOSTRESS staff is now trying out the instrument and buying preliminary science data, a course of anticipated to take a couple of month. They have accomplished an preliminary calibration of the and at the moment are validating the data by evaluating them with comparable measurements made at floor management websites. When this course of is full, ECOSTRESS will likely be prepared to start its one-year mission.

Explore additional:
New NASA mission to detect plant water use from space

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