U.S. space agency NASA launched a satellite into space Saturday as part of a mission dedicated to measuring Earth's groundwater content from space, the agency said.
The Soil Moisture Active Passive will help scientists better predict natural hazards of extreme weather, climate change and droughts.
A Delta II rocket carrying the satellite lifted clear of the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 6:20 a.m. local time (GMT1420). The launch was broadcast live by NASA's web TV.
The launch was delayed for two days after Thursday's countdown was scrubbed due to poor atmospheric conditions.
The satellite's key objective is to map the entire globe every two to three days for at least three years and provide the most accurate maps of soil moisture ever obtained, according to the agency.
It is a three-year mission to study and map the Earths soil moisture, which regulates plant growth and has impacts on weather, emergency management and more.