NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

A NASA satellite has launched on a three-year mission to measure the amount of water in soil.

A Delta 2 rocket carrying the Soil Moisture Active Passive — or SMAP — satellite launched early Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s central coast.

It’ll take some time before project managers know if the satellite separated from the rocket.

JPL manages the $916 million mission, which is designed to last at least three years.

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