16 May 2011

On May 14-15, a scale model of the SAC-D/Aquarius satellite was exhibited at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in the frame of the annual Open House event held by the lab in Los Angeles, California.

The theme of the event was “The excitement of exploration” inviting visitors to share in the wonders of space through high-definition and 3-D videos, live demonstrations, interactions with scientists and engineers, and a first look at JPL’s new Earth Science Center.

In this frame, a scale model of the satellite designed and constructed by INVAP for the National Space Agency (CONAE) in a joint mission with the American Space Agency NASA was exhibited.  The model – which was praised by the NASA team – , was built in Argentina. The exhibition aroused  great interest in the public and more than 40000 people saw the model.

It is worth mentioning that this mission’s purpose is to study the ocean’s salinity levels and their influence on climate changes, making it possible to trace the global variations in salinity and therefore to perform better predictions of the future climate events.

The satellite will be launched on June, 9 from Vandemberg Air Force Space in California, USA, and for the next 3 years it will provide every week a detailed view of the oceans from a distance of aproximately 650 km above the Earth, showing the flow of salinity between the different areas of the ocean over time.

Besides the Aquarius (designed and constructed by the JPL-NASA), the satellite carries seven other instruments that will collect environmental data for a wide range of applications, including studies on natural hazards, air quality, earth processes and epidemiology.

SAC-D/Aquarius is a scientific collaboration project between the space agencies of the USA, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy and Argentina.

Photo: Chalko Design.

Images of the event