NASA's Aquarius Gets a Presidential Visit

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (center in blue) was briefed Jan. 20. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (center in blue) was briefed Jan. 20. From left, Aquarius Instrument Manager Simon Collins, JPL; Aquarius Instrument System Engineer Dalia McWatters, JPL; President Kirchner; Alejandro Ibanez, INVAP; and Juan Carlos Miazzi, INVAP.
Photo: Argentine government
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February 01, 2010

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (center in blue) was briefed Jan. 20 during a tour of the facility where the JPL-built Aquarius instrument is being integrated with the Argentinian satellite, called the Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas (SAC-D).

The visit took place during the kickoff of the satellite's system contractor new satellite integration facility in Bariloche, Argentina. The president met with Aquarius/SAC-D team members from NASA, Argentina's space agency, Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, and the contractor.

The primary instrument on the mission, Aquarius is designed to provide monthly global maps of how salt concentration varies on the ocean surface -- a key indicator of ocean circulation and its role in climate change. Seven Argentine space agency-sponsored instruments will provide environmental data for a wide range of applications, including natural hazards, land processes, epidemiological studies and air quality issues.

The minimum three-year mission is scheduled to launch this year from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.



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The first global map of the salinity, or saltiness, of Earth's ocean surface. Aquarius Yields NASA's First Global Map of Ocean Salinity

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