May 11, 1998 If you're lost at sea, help may come from above -- from the NOAA-K Weather Satellite.
The NOAA satellite launch is planned for May 13. The weather satellite will carry search and rescue instruments that can help locate ships, aircraft, and people in distress.
This Search and Rescue Satellite-aided Tracking (SARSAT) system has saved more than 8,000 lives since it has been put into use.
The satellite will circle the Earth every 102 minutes, beaming back data from its near-polar orbit to better forecast storms such as those spawned by El Ni–o. The satellite will send back improved data on cloud and snow cover and sea surface temperatures, which will mean better forecasting of flooding and droughts.
The launching of NOAA-K, which will be renamed NOAA-15 once it's in orbit, is just one of many activities to gather data from the ocean during the International Year of the Ocean.
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