NASA, Partners Name Satellite for Noted Earth Scientist Michael Freilich

NASA and several partners are renaming a key ocean observation satellite in honor of Dr. Michael Freilich, former head of NASA’s Earth Science Division.

NASA—along with the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission (EC), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and NOAA—announced January 28 they have renamed the Sentinel-6A/Jason CS ocean observing satellite in honor of Earth scientist Dr. Michael Freilich. Dr. Freilich retired last year as head of NASA’s Earth Science Division, a position he held since 2006. The satellite will now be known as "Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich," and is scheduled for launch this fall.

“This honor demonstrates the global reach of Mike’s legacy,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We are grateful for ESA and the European partners’ generosity in recognizing Mike’s lifelong dedication to understanding our planet and improving life for everyone on it. Mike’s contributions to NASA—and to Earth science worldwide—have been invaluable, and we are thrilled that this satellite bearing his name will uncover new knowledge about the oceans for which he has such an abiding passion.”

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