European-Japanese climate research satellite launched from California aboard SpaceX rocket

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A European-Japanese climate research satellite designed to study Earth’s temperature balance was launched into orbit from California on Tuesday.

The EarthCARE satellite lifted off from coastal Vandenberg Space Force Base atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 3:20 p.m. The satellite was successfully deployed about 10 minutes later, SpaceX said on the launch webcast.

The name EarthCARE is short for Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer.

The satellite is equipped with four instruments to study the role of clouds and aerosols — particles suspended in the atmosphere — in reflecting solar radiation back into space and trapping infrared radiation emitted from Earth’s surface.

The research is a cooperative project between the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

After stage separation, the reusable Falcon 9 first stage booster landed back at Vandenberg, completing its seventh flight.