News & Information

NASA SMAP

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Feb 18, 2015 10:00 pm
  • 24:00

Guest: Vanessa Escobar, Support Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland  Despite pockets of intense snowfall and ice across parts of the South and Northeast, the U.S. Drought Monitor says 44 percent of the nation is “abnormally dry” and a quarter of the U.S. is experiencing some form of drought. California, Nevada, and parts of Texas are seeing the worst of it.  NASA has a new mission that promises to better predict drought, improve flood warning systems and even help farmers forecast crop yields. It’s a satellite called “SMAP,” which launched on January 31st. SMAP stands for “Soil Moisture Active Passive.”  “The information from the satellite is meant to enhance and inform processes that are already in place,” says Escober.  The satellite can provide useful information for many professions. “The farmer is not going to use the data directly,” says Escober. “We have people that are going to process this information and make it very useable. It’s going to be scaled to the relevance of an individual.”