Salt-seeking instrument blanketed in silver

Jan 25, 2011 By Alan Buis
NASA technicians install thermal blankets on the Aquarius instrument at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(PhysOrg.com) -- Technicians from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., completed the installation of thermal blankets on NASA's Aquarius instrument last week, as the Aquarius/Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas (SAC-D) spacecraft continued functional performance tests at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Laboratório de Integracao e Testes – Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, or LIT-INPE) in Sáo José dos Campos.

Activities are proceeding on schedule for shipment of the to California's Vandenberg Air Force Base in late March for a launch in early June.

Aquarius/SAC-D is an international mission involving and Argentina's space agency, Comisión 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.

Explore further: NASA probes studying Earth's radiation belts to celebrate two year anniversary

More information: For more information on Aquarius, visit: www.aquarius.nasa.gov

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA's sea salt sensor to get cooked, chilled

Nov 24, 2010

While most Americans are traveling to family gatherings this week for Thanksgiving, a team of scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, ...

Salt-Seeking Satellite Shaken By Quake, But Not Stirred

Mar 02, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Aquarius instrument, and the Argentinian spacecraft that will carry it into space, the Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas (SAC-D), successfully rode out one of the largest earthquakes in recorded ...

Sea Salt Holds Clues to Climate Change

May 01, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- We know that average sea levels have risen over the past century, and that global warming is to blame. But what is climate change doing to the saltiness, or salinity, of our oceans?

WISE Snug in Its Nose Cone; Launch Set for Dec. 9

Dec 01, 2009

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has been wrapped in the outer nose cone, or "fairing," that will protect it during its scheduled Dec. 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

Aug 29, 2014

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

Aug 29, 2014

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

User comments : 0