Status Report

Aquarius/SAC-D Launched

By SpaceRef Editor
June 10, 2011
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Aquarius/SAC-D Launched

With a burst of light, the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carrying the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft lifted off June 10, 2011 at 7:20 a.m. PDT (10:20 a.m. EDT) from NASA’s Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Separation of the spacecraft is expected to occur about 56 minutes into the flight. At that time, its mission officially will begin.

NASA’s Aquarius instrument is part of the SAC-D spacecraft built by CONAE, Argentina’s space agency. The mission is expected to gather global measurements of ocean surface salinity, leading to a better understanding of ocean circulation, climate and Earth’s water cycle. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will go through a checkout period before it begins its three-year mission.

SpaceRef staff editor.