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Aqua (satellite)

Aqua
Aqua (EOS PM-1)
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 2002-022A
Website http://aqua.nasa.gov/
Mission duration 6 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Northrop Grumman
Launch mass 3,117 kilograms (6,872 lb)
Power 4,444 watts
Start of mission
Launch date May 4, 2002, 09:54:58 (2002-05-04T09:54:58Z) UTC
Rocket Delta II 7920-10L
Launch site Vandenberg SLC-2W
Contractor Boeing
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Semi-major axis 7,077.75 kilometers (4,397.91 mi)
Eccentricity 0.01203
Perigee 691 kilometers (429 mi)
Apogee 708 kilometers (440 mi)
Inclination 98.14 degrees
Period 98.4 minutes

Aqua (EOS PM-1) is a multi-national NASA scientific research satellite in orbit around the Earth, studying the precipitation, evaporation, and cycling of water. It is the second major component of the Earth Observing System (EOS) preceded by Terra (launched 1999) and followed by Aura (launched 2004).

The name "Aqua" comes from the Latin word for water. The satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on May 4, 2002, aboard a Delta II rocket. Aqua is on a Sun-synchronous orbit. It flies as the second in the satellite formation called the "A Train" with several other satellites (Aura, CALIPSO, CloudSat, OCO-2, the French PARASOL, and the Japanese GCOM W1).

Instruments

Aqua carries six instruments for studies of water on the Earth's surface and in the atmosphere:

The Aqua spacecraft has a mass of about 2,850 kilograms (6,280 lb), plus propellant of about 230 kilograms (510 lb) (at launch). Stowed, the satellite is 2.68 m x 2.49 m x 6.49 m. Deployed, Aqua is 4.81 m x 16.70 m x 8.04 m.

See also

External links

  • NASA Aqua site
  • Aqua Mission Profile by NASA's Solar System Exploration
  • Mission Control Tunes Up Aqua's Orbit, August 20, 2009
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