Japan's Advanced Earth Observing Satellite (ADEOS) carrying a JPL instrument designed to measure global ocean surface winds was launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan at 6:53 Pacific time tonight.

Launched on a Japanese H-II rocket and destined for a 800- kilometer (497-mile) high circular orbit above the Earth, ADEOS is due to begin day-to-day science operations in November.

The JPL-built NASA Scatterometer will make 190,000 measurements per day of the speed and direction of winds within about 3 centimeters (1.5 inches) of the ocean surface. These winds directly affect the turbulent exchanges of heat, moisture and greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and the ocean. These air-sea exchanges, in turn, help determine regional weather patterns and shape global climate.

NSCAT has been developed under NASA's strategic enterprise called Mission to Planet Earth, a comprehensive research effort to study Earth's land, oceans, atmosphere, ice and life as an interrelated system. JPL manages the NSCAT instrument for NASA.

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