Last Saturday January the 31th, NASA successfully launched its first of five Earth satellites. SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) will give new insights about what is happening in the top layer of Earth’s soil. For the next three years it will be scanning the top 5cm of the ground below our feet to produce global maps of soil moisture with an unseen detail. This will give scientists new insights in how the Earth’s water, energy and carbon cycles are connected. This enables scientist to forecast droughts, floods and crop yields better. It will also improve weather forecasts. “SMAP will improve the daily lives of people around the world,” said Simon Yueh, SMAP project scientist at JPL.
Find out more on NASA’s website.