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NASA Sets Coverage for Air Quality Instrument Launch

Watch the NASA-Smithsonian instrument TEMPO liftoff into space live on the morning of Friday, April 7 via NASA Television.

artist's impression of the satellite carrying TEMPO

Artist's impression of the satellite that will carry the TEMPO instruments for monitoring air quality and pollution in North America.  

Credit: MAXAR

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than 12:30 a.m. EDT Friday, April 7, to launch the NASA-Smithsonian instrument TEMPO (Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution instrument). TEMPO is the first space-based instrument to monitor major air pollutants hourly in high spatial resolution – down to four square miles – in a region stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Canadian oil sands to below Mexico City, encompassing the entire continental United States.

Liftoff will be from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The instrument is a payload on the satellite Intelsat 40E. It was built by Ball Aerospace and integrated onto Intelsat 40E by Maxar. The principal investigator and deputy principal investigator of the TEMPO project, Kelly Chance and Xiong Liu, are both based at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian.

Live launch coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency's website. Follow events online at:

Full coverage of this mission is as follows (all times Eastern):

Friday, April 7

12:05 a.m. – Prelaunch broadcast with the following participants:

  • Karen St. Germain, Earth Science Division director, NASA Headquarters
  • Erika Wright, education specialist, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

12:19 a.m. – Live launch coverage begins

12:30 a.m. – Two-hour launch window opens

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About the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian is a collaboration between Harvard and the Smithsonian designed to ask—and ultimately answer—humanity's greatest unresolved questions about the nature of the universe. The Center for Astrophysics is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with research facilities across the U.S. and around the world.

Media Contact:

Nadia Whitehead
Public Affairs Officer
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian