NASA gets ready to launch a new SAGE III to study Earth's climate

NASA’s second-in-command, Robert Lightfoot, paid a visit to the Langley Research Center in Hampton on Wednesday as part of a tour of the agency’s 10 field centers.

While at NASA Langley, Lightfoot viewed a mockup of the SAGE III instrument that’s expected to launch next year from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to study the Earth’s climate, officials said.

The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III will attach to the International Space Station to begin measuring ozone, water vapor and aerosols in the planet’s atmosphere.

SAGE III/ISS is a near exact copy of the SAGE III that launched into orbit in 2001 on a Russian Meteor-3M spacecraft, but went dark five years later when the spacecraft's power supply failed.

The copy was stored in a clean room at NASA Langley until 2009, and now is being readied for action.

Here’s a NASA time-lapse video of the SAGE III’s thermal vacuum test.


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