The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and Sentinel-6B make up the Sentinel-6 mission, also known as Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS), which is a partnership between NASA, NOAA, ESA, and EUMETSAT. This mission continues the long-term global sea surface height data record begun by first Jason satellites in 1992. Named after former NASA Earth Science Division Director Michael Freilich, Sentinel-6 Michail Freilich will provide altimeter data necessary for ocean climate monitoring, ocean modelling and numerical ocean prediction, weather forecasting, marine meteorology, coastal altimetry and modelling. A secondary objective of the mission is to collect high-resolution vertical profiles of temperature, using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Radio-Occultation sounding technique, to assess temperature changes in the troposphere and stratosphere and to support numerical weather prediction. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is to operate in a highly-inclined circular orbit at an altitude of 1336 km, with an operational mission lasting 5 years. Near-identical Sentinel-6B is planned to follow-up shortly after.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has many pads, on the East Coast of the US they own SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral and LC-39A at the Kennedy Space Center for their lower inclination launches. They also own SLC-4E at Vandenberg, California for their high inclination launches. Another site is also being developed at Boca Chica, Texas.