1-03-2008 - SAC-D/Aquarius mission passes NASA and CONAE Critical Design Review : Last week, around 180 space technicians met in Bariloche for the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the SAC-D mission. These specialists came from numerous participating institutions: NASA, CONAE, La Plata National University, the Argentine Instute for Radioastronomy, the Research Center for Optics of the Argentine Research Council, the National Atomic Energy Commision, the Canadian Space Agency ant the Brasilian Space Reseach Instutute (INPE), as well as INVAP.


Last week, around 180 space technicians met in Bariloche for the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the SAC-D mission. These specialists came from numerous participating institutions: NASA, CONAE, La Plata National University, the Argentine Instute for Radioastronomy, the Research Center for Optics of the Argentine Research Council, the National Atomic Energy Commision, the Canadian Space Agency ant the Brasilian Space Reseach Instutute (INPE), as well as INVAP.

The CDR is one of the most significant steps in the final approval of the design previous to the actual construction of the satellite and its payload.

The main instrument carried by SAC-D is called Aquarius, and is being built by NASA´s Jet Propulsion Lab. It is designed to measure for the first time on a global sclale the salinity of the oceans. This mission is of the highest importance for a better knowledge of the factors that may affect the global Climate Change, such as salinity, surface temperatures, wind intensities and directions, the presence of ice and the humidity of the atmosphere, all of which will improve our knowledge of the oceanic circulation patterns and its influence on the world climate. The satellite will also study the humidity of the soil and detect anomalous temperature spots - for example for fire alerts and the prevision of floods.

The mission will constitute a complete observatory which will also be able to detect the distribution of space débris and micrometeorites around the Earth.

Besides Aquarius, SAC-D will carry other instruments of Argentine conception and construction, as well as instruments of other nations. It is scheduled to be launched from the Vandenberg Base in California, on the date of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the independence of Argentina, in May 2010, by a Delta II vector, similar to that which launched the highly successful SAC-C satellite.

We wish to especially emphasize the demonstration of faith in our space technology on the part of NASA, which will trust us to take such a costly and important instrument as Aquarius to space on an Argentine-built satellite.