Story By: Michael Leidig, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Scientists in Germany have been accused of planning to send a ski hut into space after they created this satellite that looks like a house.
The Sentinel 6 weighs 1.5 tonnes and is five metres long and will orbit the earth at a height of 1,400 kilometres after being launched from the Falcon six rocket that is taking off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California next year.
The project leader Klaus-Peter Koeble, 59, said: “Sentinel 6 aims to detect the effects of climate change. With its radar it can detect increases in the sea level and the melting of the polar caps down to a few millimetres.”
The data will help scientists to work out what areas are in danger of flooding as they attempt to study the impact and pace of climate change.
According to local media, the satellite looks like a house, with bestselling German newspaper Bild calling it “a ski hut”.
Explaining why they built it to look like a house, he said: “We installed the solar cells in a roof shape because it was the most efficient way for it to get as much sunlight as possible. Unlike other satellites, this will always be in the same position and if we were to turn it always in the direction of the sun, the accuracy of the measurements would be jeopardised.”
The satellite will have an operational life of seven years and eventually after around 25 years is expected to crash back into the Earth’s atmosphere burning up in the process.
But the team are already working on its replacement, Sentinal 6B, that will take over the job when the flying ski hut is shut down.
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