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A new payload that Elon Musk’s SpaceX will deliver into orbit next month will play a pivotal role in measuring sea level increases, potentially helping to spare economies from billions of euros in damages by the end of this century.

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite lifts off Nov. 10 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket that will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Its mission will be to track how the accelerating rise of sea levels is changing coastlines, threatening the habitat of more than a third of the world’s population. The European Space Agency will provide details about the mission on Friday at 4 p.m. in Paris.

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