On June 10 2014, the third anniversary of the SAC-D/Aquarius’ launching is celebrated. The scientific applications satellite was designed and built by INVAP (Applied Research Company) for the Argentine National Space Activities Commission (CONAE, in Spanish) and the U.S. space agency NASA. This mission consists of a satellite project with scientific cooperation between the space agencies of the U.S., Brazil, Canada, France, Italy and Argentina.
This satellite, launched from Santa Bárbara, California, was specifically designed for measuring monthly the surface seawater salinity variation on a global scale –key to studying the relation between the ocean circulation and the global water cycle.
In 2011, after being successfully launched, the satellite SAC-D/Aquarius provided its first surface seawater salinity global map in September, thus giving the first indication of the discoveries made by this important satellite mission.
The satellite carries, apart from the Aquarius, which is the main instrument, another seven that collect environmental data for a wide variety of applications, including studies on natural hazards, air quality, Earth’s processes and epidemiology.