Falcon 9 vertical on pad
Published: November 21, 2020

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite secured inside its payload fairing, is lifted to vertical at Space Launch Complex 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Nov. 20, 2020. The Sentinel-6/Jason-CS (Continuity of Service) mission consists of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, which will be followed by its twin, the Sentinel-6B satellite, in 2025. The Sentinel-6/Jason-CS mission is part of Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation program, managed by the European Commission. Continuing the legacy of the Jason series missions, Sentinel-6/Jason-CS will extend the records of sea level into their fourth decade, collecting accurate measurements of sea surface height for more than 90% of the world’s oceans, and providing crucial information for operational oceanography, marine meteorology, and climate studies. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is launched on Nov. 21, 2020, at 9:17 PST (12:17 EST).