ISS-RapidScat Will Help Scientists Improve Weather Forecasts

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NASA’s ISS-RapidScat instrument is a result of adapting leftover QuikScat satellite hardware in combination with new hardware for use on the space station for measuring ocean surface wind speed and direction. Mike Suffredini, NASA’s International Space Station program manager, claims that this low-cost approach will have high benefits to science and life here on Earth. The project will be launched to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft in 2014 and it is expected to operate aboard the station during two years. Designers hope it will help improve weather forecasts, including hurricane monitoring, and understanding the way ocean-atmosphere interactions influence the Earth’s climate. ISS-RapidScat will also measure the Earth’s global wind field for all locations and will help scientists improve weather and climate models.

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