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The Satellite Story

On this week’s news update: the fallout from Hurricane Florence, the satellite that measures sea levels, and the artistic inventor who engineered a flying car!

Hurricane Florence

Hurricanes are powerful storms that bring with them huge amounts of rain and very strong winds. They can cause serious damage to buildings, roads and electricity supplies. So, before Florence arrived, many people boarded up their homes and travelled to safer areas.

The hurricane caused severe flooding by pushing water from the ocean onto the land – an event called a storm surge. Florence has now passed, but it could take several months of cleaning up and rebuilding before people can go home.

Satellite ICESat-2

Next up, it’s Space Track. Earth’s North and South Poles are covered in thick ice sheets. But global warming is causing some of this ice to melt into water. As a result, sea levels are rising.

Now, NASA has launched the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite – or ICESat-2 for short. The satellite will use laser beams to measure changes in the height of the ice sheets. With this information, scientists can work out how much ice is melting. This will help them to predict how high the sea might rise.

Mendiola’s flying car

Finally, it’s Tech Beat. In cities across the world, traffic congestion is a big problem. Vehicles clog up roads, leading to slower travel and increased air pollution.

Kyxz Mendiola, a dancer and inventor from the Philippines, was fed up with traffic, so he built a flying car to lift him above it! It has 16 motors and 16 propellers – so if one of them breaks, the car can still fly. It may seem like something from a science fiction film, but Kyxz is now working with a technology company to make his car available to the public. Let’s just hope we don’t end up with traffic jams... in the sky!

Learn more…

Scientists have been launching satellites into space for over 60 years, and ICESat-2 is just one of the thousands orbiting Earth. Discover more about satellites with our Twig video, The Satellite Story.