After two launch attempts on previous nights failed due to imperfect weather conditions, NASA JPL's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite launched out of Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a Delta II rocket the morning of January 31st, 2015.
Scientists argue that accurately mapping current soil moisture levels is the last step in creating a complete weather model, as the amount of moisture evaporated into the atmosphere around the world heavily impacts temperature and other weather factors every day. Additionally, gaining accurate soil moisture data will also enable better predictions for flood behavior as scientists will be able to better estimate the ground's ability to absorb water in a given area.
With the mission of scanning and measuring levels of moisture in the soil for the first time across the entire globe, there are countless ways that SMAP's research will impact science and everyday human life. This is just the beginning.
Format: 120/6x17 Film