NASA Launches Soil Moisture Mapper

Highlights from launch, separation and solar array deployment of the SMAP spacecraft. SMAP launched on a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Ca., on January 31, 2015. SMAP will provide high resolution, space-based measurements of soil moisture and its state — frozen or thawed — a new capability that will allow scientists to better predict natural hazards of extreme weather, climate change, floods and droughts, and help reduce uncertainties in our understanding of Earth’s water, energy and carbon cycles.