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NASA Heads Out to Sea...
News story originally written on July 30, 1997

NASA is going to launch SeaWifs on the SeaStar spacecraft August 1, 1997. SeaWifs stands for Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor. This satellite is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program, which studies the Earth from space.

SeaWifs will monitor plant growth in the ocean. It is thought that plant growth in the ocean affects the climate around the world. SeaWifs will help scientists test this theory.

From the satellite's view, vegetation (mainly phytoplankton) can be mapped by tracking the ocean's color. Phytoplankton are very small plants found in the ocean.

SeaWifs will also provide NASA with data that will help develop fishing maps so that people will know approximately how many fish will be caught in upcoming years.

The Orbital Sciences Corporation's SeaStar spacecraft is to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, aboard a Pegasus expendable launch vehicle.

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