Space

May 7, 2012

NASA’s Aqua satellite, built by Northrop Grumman, celebrates 10th year on-orbit

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Built by Northrop Grumman, NASA’s Aqua satellite recently marked its 10th year on-orbit, delivering unprecedented data about the Earth’s climate, water cycle and much more.

Aqua launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., May 4, 2002.

One of the primary satellites in NASA’s Earth Observing System, Aqua is designed to help scientists understand the Earth and make more accurate weather and climate predictions. In its decade on-orbit, Aqua has rendered detailed views of dramatic events such as hurricanes, wildfires, the continued retreat of sea ice in the Arctic, plumes from volcanoes in Chile and Iceland, and tropical cyclones and hurricanes.

Data from Aqua’s six onboard instruments have given scientists high quality information needed to more accurately predict weather, advance climate studies, map sea surface temperatures and measure changes in the ozone layer.

“Aqua demonstrates the considerable benefits of long-term, space-based environmental monitoring. The strong performance of the satellite and instruments over the last decade is proof of the teamwork between our company, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the world’s leading scientists,” said Jeff Grant, vice president and general manager, space systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “We’re very proud to celebrate this milestone with the entire NASA team and all those the mission serves.”

Designed for a six-year mission life, Aqua is the second major satellite in NASA’s series of Earth Observing System spacecraft. Aqua provides scientists with about 89 gigabytes of data daily that are answering questions about hydrological processes in the atmosphere, on land and in the oceans.

“We are thrilled with the success of the Aqua mission so far, especially the widespread use of the Aqua data both for advancing Earth sciences and for practical applications,” said Claire Parkinson, Aqua project scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. “In recent years, the number of science publications using Aqua data has exceeded 700 per year and the number of citations to Aqua publications has exceeded 10,000 per year.”

Over the past 10 years, Aqua data have enabled scientists to:

  • Create the first satellite-derived global map of mid-troposphere carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
  • Contribute to improved weather forecasts.
  • Create global fire maps.
  • Estimate atmospheric ozone concentrations from infrared measurements to complement the ultraviolet ozone measurements made from another Northrop Grumman-built NASA satellite, the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer – Earth Probe.
  • Map daily global sea surface temperatures and obtain local features such as the cold wake following a hurricane, leading to better understanding of ocean-atmosphere processes. Aqua’s images were seen on the news for two months in the buildup and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Map some of the effects of the Japan earthquake and resulting tsunami.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin image

Ball Aerospace equips Orion mission with key avionics, antenna hardware

Lockheed Martin image Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is providing the phased array antennas and flight test cameras to prime contractor Lockheed Martin for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), which is an u...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA announces new opportunities for public participation in asteroid grand challenge

NASA photograph Team NOVA Took the Winning Hackathon Prize.   Ten new projects are providing opportunities for the public to participate in NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, which accelerates the agency’s astero...
 
 
XCOR Aerospace photograph by Mike Massee

XCOR Aerospace announces latest milestone in ULA program

XCOR Aerospace photograph by Mike Massee The XCOR-ULA XR-5H25 LOX-Hydrogen Rocket Engine, fed by XCOR’s proprietary rocket propellant piston pump technology. MOJAVE, Calif. XCOR Aerospace announced Nov. 20 it has complete...
 

 

New crew arrives at space station to continue scientific research

Three new crew members representing the United States, Russia and Italy are at the International Space Station. The Soyuz TMA-15M vehicle docked to the International Space Station at 9:48 p.m., EST, above the Pacific Ocean, approaching the coast of Ecuador. Terry Virts of NASA, Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)...
 
 
NASA image by Eric Stern

NASA announces early stage innovations space tech research grants

NASA image by Eric Stern Advanced thermal protection materials modeling using the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method simulates the flow through porous TPS materials. Research into these sorts of advanced technologies e...
 
 

NASA awards launch services contract for Ionospheric Connection Explorer

NASA has selected Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., to provide launch services for the Ionospheric Connection Explorer mission. ICON is targeted to launch in June 2017 from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands aboard a Pegasus XL launch vehicle from Orbital’s “Stargazer” L-1011 aircraft. The total...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>