Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA's Aqua Spacecraft To Study Earth's Water Cycle

Date:
April 24, 2002
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
NASA's mission to understand and protect our home planet will mark a major milestone this spring with the launch of the Aqua satellite. Aqua, due to bring us unprecedented insight of our world's global water cycle, is the latest sibling in a family of Earth Observing System satellites dedicated to studying the Earth and our knowledge of global climate change.

NASA's mission to understand and protect our home planet will mark a major milestone this spring with the launch of the Aqua satellite. Aqua, due to bring us unprecedented insight of our world's global water cycle, is the latest sibling in a family of Earth Observing System satellites dedicated to studying the Earth and our knowledge of global climate change.

The primary role of Aqua, as the name implies, is to gather information about water in the Earth's system. Equipped with six state-of-the-art instruments, Aqua will collect data on global precipitation, evaporation, and the cycling of water.

During its six-year mission, Aqua will gather information on changes in ocean circulation and how clouds and surface water processes affect our climate. This information will help scientists better understand how global ecosystems are changing, and how they respond to and affect global environmental change.

"Aqua will provide unprecedented information on the global water cycle. The spacecraft will enable operational agencies to create more accurate weather forecasts in the future," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Associate Administrator for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, NASA Headquarters, Washington.

"Aqua will observe our Earth's oceans, atmosphere, land, ice and snow covers and vegetation," said Claire Parkinson, the Aqua project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. "This comprehensive approach enables scientists to study the interactions among key elements of the Earth system so as to better understand our planet."

Aqua is expected to be launched May 2 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on a Boeing Delta-7920-10L expendable launch vehicle. The 10-minute launch window opens at 2:55 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (5:55 a.m. EDT). Aqua will fly at an altitude of approximately 705 kilometers (438 miles) above Earth in a near polar and sun synchronous orbit.

Aqua is the sister satellite to NASA's Terra spacecraft, launched in December of 1999. Aqua will cross the equator daily at 1:30 p.m. as it heads North. The early afternoon observation time contrasts with the Terra satellite which crosses the equator between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m. daily. The two satellites, Aqua's afternoon observations and Terra's morning observations, will yield important insights into the "diurnal variability," or the daily cycling of key scientific parameters such as precipitation and ocean circulation.

Aqua is a joint project between the United States, Japan and Brazil. The United States provided the spacecraft and four of Aqua's six scientific instruments. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center provided the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provided the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, and NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., provided the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System instrument.

Japan's National Space Development Agency provided the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer. The Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (the Brazilian Institute for Space Research) provided the Humidity Sounder for Brazil.

Aqua is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, a long-term research effort dedicated to understanding and protecting our home planet. Through the study of Earth, NASA will help to provide sound science to policy and economic decision makers so as to better life here, while developing the technologies needed to explore the universe and search for life beyond our home planet.

More information about the Aqua program is available at:

http://aqua.nasa.gov

Information about NASA's Earth Science Enterprise can be found at:

http://www.earth.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA's Aqua Spacecraft To Study Earth's Water Cycle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020424073801.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (2002, April 24). NASA's Aqua Spacecraft To Study Earth's Water Cycle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020424073801.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA's Aqua Spacecraft To Study Earth's Water Cycle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020424073801.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins