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Aquarius / SAC D (ESSP 6)

Aquarius / SAC D [NASA]

Aquarius / SAC-D is a focused satellite mission to measure global Sea Surface Salinity (SSS). Scientific progress is limited because conventional in situ SSS sampling is too sparse to give the global view of salinity variability that only a satellite can provide. Aquarius will resolve missing physical processes that link the water cycle, the climate, and the ocean.

Aquarius was launched in 2011 on a Delta-7320-10C booster. Aquarius / SAC-D is a space mission developed by NASA and the Space Agency of Argentina (Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, CONAE). CONAE provides the spacecraft bus while NASA provides the L-band Radiometer / Scatterometer Instrument.

The satellite failed in June 2015 after a 4 year mission.

Nation: USA, Argentina
Type / Application: Earth Science (Ocean salinity)
Operator: NASA, CONAE
Contractors: NASA (payload), INVAP (bus)
Equipment: L-band Radiometer / Scatterometer
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays (1362 W), batteries
Lifetime: 3 years (minimum); 5 years (design); 4 years (achieved)
Mass: 1350 kg
Orbit: 657 km × 657 km; 98°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Aquarius / SAC D (ESSP 6) 2011-024A 10.06.2011 Va SLC-2W Delta-7320-10C


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