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About Aqua
image of Aqua satellite and instruments

Aqua carries six state-of-the-art instruments in a near-polar low-Earth orbit. The six instruments are the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A), the Humidity Sounder for Brazil (HSB), the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E), the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES). Each has unique characteristics and capabilities, and all six serve together to form a powerful package for Earth observations.

Spacecraft Stats

Orbit Characteristics

Sun synchronous, near-polar orbit
Equatorial Crossing   1:30 p.m., acsending node
Inclination   98°
Altitude   705 km
Period   99 minutes
Semi-major axis   7085 km
Eccentricity   0.0015

Launch Statistics

Vehicle   Two-stage Delta II 7920-10L with 9 strap-on solid rocket motors and 10 foot, bisector, composite fairing
Site   SLC-2W, Western Range, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Launch Date   May 4, 2002 @ 2:55 a.m. PDT

Vital Statistics

Weight   (at launch) 2,934 kg (6,468 pounds)
Power   4,860 watts end of life
Size (stowed)   2.7 m (8.8 ft) x 2.5 m (8.2 ft) x 6.5 m (21.3 ft)
Size (deployed)   4.8 m (15.8 ft) x 16.7 m (54.8 ft) x 8 m (26.4 ft)
Mission Life   6 years



USA Gov logo Privacy Policy and Important Notices NASA Curator: Steven Graham
NASA Official: Claire Parkinson
Last Updated: September 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM