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NASA’s new mission will study microscopic plankton and aerosols from space

A rendering of a satellite seen above clouds, sea, and land masses.
A rendering of the PACE spacecraft as seen from afar. | Image: NASA

Who knew you could see plankton from space? NASA, of course. The space agency successfully launched a new mission today called PACE — short for the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem satellite — that will study its namesake.

It’ll examine microscopic plants and particles — things so small they’re invisible to the naked eye — from hundreds of miles above Earth. The goal is to better understand how such teeny tiny things can actually impact the whole planet.

“PACE will help us learn, like never before, how particles in our atmosphere and our oceans can identify key factors impacting global warming,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, said in a press release.

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