Three of Aqua's instruments – the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, and the Clouds' and the Earth's Radiant Energy System Detector – measure cloud cover and surface vegetation, temperatures across Earth's surface and in the atmosphere, humidity, and the flow of energy though the global system. A second package of three instruments – the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, the Advanced Micro-wave Sounding Unit, and the Humidity Sounder for Brazil – track water as it cycles from Earth's surface through the atmosphere and back.
The first benefit of the mission is an improvement in daily weather forecasts: Aqua's data is at least a factor of two better than those used in current forecasts. Aqua was launched on May 4, 2000, by a Delta II from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
External siteAqua homepage (Goddard Space Flight Center)
Related category• SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES
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