May 28 was a busy day for SpaceX.

According to Space, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched at 6:20 pm EST with the Cloud-Aerosol and Earth Radiation Probe or EarthCARE satellite from the base. Vandenberg Space Force took off in California.

The Earthcore satellite is a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). According to the European Space Agency, the mission will investigate the role of clouds and aerosols in reflecting sunlight into space and trapping infrared radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface.

The European Space Agency added: “Learning about the balance of solar radiation on our planet is very important to address climate problems, and it can only be done from space.”

This mission operates at the same orbital altitude as the International Space Station, but with a different program. Arthkar satellite will travel in a sun-synchronous polar orbit. The satellite will look at particles in clouds and aerosol molecules in the atmosphere to see how they interact with precipitation and how fast they fall to our planet.

The officials of the European Space Agency said: “Earthker” satellite will record the distribution of water droplets and ice crystals and how they move in the clouds. Inherent data will improve the accuracy of models of cloud development and their behavior, composition, and interaction with aerosols. Also, they improve future climate models and support numerical weather forecasting.

This satellite has four types of scientific equipment, which include an atmospheric lidar for detailed investigation of clouds and cloud and aerosol characteristics, a cloud-characterizing radar for learning about the movement dynamics and structure of clouds, a broadband radiometer for investigating solar radiation and infrared radiation, and a Multispectral imager.

Arthkar satellite was designed for the first time in 2004 and was designed and built by Airbus and 75 subsidiary companies.

European Space Agency Director General Josef Aschbacher said: I am relieved that the launch was successful. I am very happy for all the people who have worked on this project for decades. I know how much blood, sweat, and tears have gone into this mission to get to where it is today.

Simonetta Cheli, the current director of the European Space Agency’s Earth observation programs, believes that although this satellite was first designed 20 years ago, it appears more relevant today than imagined.

Launching a satellite to investigate the role of clouds in changing the Earth's climate

“Earthcare’s mission showcases the relevance of environmental sustainability and shows that climate, in general, is something that is at the top of our member countries’ agenda, both in terms of support programs and participation in projects, as well as the continuation of existing data,” Chelley said. We found that last year was the hottest year on record. Also, all months of 2024 were the warmest on record.

He added: If we want to evaluate the sun’s radiation towards the earth and examine the effect of clouds in terms of cooling, it is necessary to have accurate and innovative information about clouds, aerosols, and precipitation. All of these issues can be explored in more depth today with the data obtained from the four EarthKer satellite instruments.

After launch, Earthcore is expected to undergo a six-month commissioning period, and its initial mission is expected to last at least three years.

Read more: Climate change slows down the rotation of the earth!

This was the second launch of May 28 for SpaceX. The company launched a group of its Starlink internet satellites into Earth orbit this morning from Cape Canaveral Space Force Base in Florida.

According to the SpaceX mission description, the Falcon 9 first-stage booster that was flown in this mission has reached space seven times so far. Among its previous missions, was the launch of the “Dragon” manned capsule in the “Crew-7” mission to the “International Space Station”, the cargo flight of “CRS-29” to the International Space Station. And there were two Starlink missions.

Launching a satellite to investigate the role of clouds in changing the Earth's climate

The first stage of the “Falcon 9” rocket was placed on the landing platform shortly after the launch of the “Arthkar” satellite.

The mission booster successfully landed at Vandenberg Space Force Base on May 28, approximately eight minutes after launch. About 2.5 minutes later, the Falcon 9 upper stage placed the Erthkar satellite into orbit as planned.