NASA Launches Device To Monitor Air Pollution From Space

NASA's Tropospheric emissions: Monitoring of pollution (TEMPO), an instrument that monitors major air pollutants, has been successfully launched.

The instrument was launched by SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. 

NASA's new device can measure air pollution in North America to the neighbourhood level. NASA says the mission is not just about research but "improving life on Earth for all."

The Intelsat 40E Satellite carried the payload. It separated from the rocket 32 minutes after launch. TEMPO's commissioning activities begin in late may or early June.

TEMPO's project manager says that the instrument will be used to measure air pollution and quality in North America at intervals of one hour during the day.

The US Environmental Protection Agency, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies tasked with combating atmospheric pollution will use the data. 

Why is the mission important?

According to the American Lung Association, more than 40% of US residents, live in areas with unhealthy of particle pollution or ozone.