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Thread: Aquarius Ocean-Mapping Satellite to Blast Off

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    Default Aquarius Ocean-Mapping Satellite to Blast Off

    Aquarius Ocean-Mapping Satellite to Blast Off


    Published June 10, 2011
    | FoxNews.com

    NASA/Bill Ingalls
    A Delta II rocket carrying NASA's Aquarius ocean salt mapping mission is unveiled from behind its service structure at Space Launch Complex 2 at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base just hours before its scheduled 7:20 a.m. PDT launch on June 10.

    VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California It's the age of Aquarius.
    NASA is set to launch a rocket ferrying Aquarius -- a new Earth-observing satellite set to measure the saltiness of the ocean from the depths of outer space.
    The Delta 2 rocket is scheduled to blast off at 7:20 a.m. (10:20 a.m. EDT) Friday from Vandenberg Air Force Base after a 24-hour delay so crews could review an issue with the rocket's flight plan.
    "The full and proper software for the launch vehicle to steer through upper level winds has been loaded aboard and verified," the space agency said.
    Aquarius, the NASA-built primary instrument on the spacecraft, will take the space agency's first space-based measurements of ocean surface salinity, a key missing variable in satellite observations of Earth that links ocean circulation, the global balance of freshwater and climate.
    Weather looks good for liftoff, with a zero percent chance of storms, clouds, or other conditions that could affect the launch.
    The Argentine-built satellite carries a NASA instrument that will chart changes in ocean salt levels over three years. Other instruments from Canada, France and Italy will collect environmental data.
    Scientists hope the $400 million mission will help better predict future climate change and short-term climate phenomena such as El Nino and La Nina.
    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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    Default Re: Aquarius Ocean-Mapping Satellite to Blast Off

    Just saw the launch at Vandenburg. Went pretty well. I love watching missiles... er... rockets launch. lol
    Libertatem Prius!


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