Aquarius/SAC-D being prepared for shipment to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, INPE) Integration and Testing Lab. At INPE, the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory will undergo its final environmental testing before being shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for launch.
Aquarius/SAC-D is an international mission involving NASA and Argentina's space agency, ComisÃn Nacional de Actividades Espaciales. Aquarius, the primary instrument on the mission, was built jointly by JPL and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. It will provide monthly global maps of how the concentration of dissolved salt (known as salinity) varies on the ocean surface. Salinity is a key tracer for understanding the ocean's role in Earth's water cycle and understanding ocean circulation.
By measuring ocean salinity from space, Aquarius will provide new insights into how the massive natural interplay of freshwater moving among the ocean, atmosphere and sea ice influences Earth's ocean circulation, weather and climate.
For more information on Aquarius, visit http://www.aquarius.nasa.gov.