Over a three-year period, the Aquarius mission will provide the first global observations of sea surface salinity, giving climatologists a better understanding of the ocean's role in Earth's water cycle and weather patterns, as well as global climate change.
Together with sensors that measure sea level, ocean color, temperature, winds, rainfall and evaporation, Aquarius, the NASA-built primary instrument aboard the Argentinian space agency's Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas spacecraft, will offer a much clearer picture of how the ocean works, how it is linked to climate and how it may respond to climate change.
|Launch Date:||June 10, 2011
7:20 a.m. PDT (14:20 UTC)
|Launch Location:||Vandenberg Air Force Base, California|
|Current Location:||› Click to view
Altitude: 408 miles (657 kilometers) above Earth's surface