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Aquarius SAC-D satellite.png
Artist's impression of SAC-D in orbit
Mission type Earth science
Operator CONAE
COSPAR ID 2011-024A
SATCAT № 37673
Mission duration 5 years
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer INVAP
INPE/LIT[disambiguation needed]
Start of mission
Launch date June 10, 2011, 14:20:13 (2011-06-10UTC14:20:13) UTC
Rocket Delta II 7320-10C
Launch site Vandenberg SLC-2W
Contractor ULA
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Sun-synchronous
Perigee 659 kilometers (409 mi)[1]
Apogee 661 kilometers (411 mi)[1]
Inclination 98.01 degrees[1]
Period 97.81 minutes[1]
Epoch 25 January 2015, 00:27:17 UTC[1]

SAC-D (Spanish: Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas-D, meaning Satellite for Scientific Applications-D), also known as Aquarius after its primary instrument, is an Argentine Earth science satellite built by INVAP and launched on June 10, 2011.[2] It carries seven instruments to study the environment, and a technology demonstration experiment.[3] Its primary instrument, Aquarius, was built by and is operated by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration. SAC-D is operated by CONAE, the Argentine space agency. The satellite is expected to operate for five years; however the Aquarius instrument is only expected to operate for three.[4]


Launch of the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory.

SAC-D was launched on June 10, 2011.[5] A Delta II 7320-10 was used as the launch vehicle, taking off from Space Launch Complex 2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base. NASA was responsible for providing launch services,[6] which were subcontracted to United Launch Alliance. The launch was delayed from May 2010 because development of the spacecraft was taking longer than expected.[7]


Name Operator Purpose
Aquarius United States NASA Ocean salinity research
CARMEN I France CNES Two experiments: SODAD will study particles and debris in space, ICARE will study cosmic radiation and its effects on electronics
DCS Argentina CONAE Collection of data provided by platforms on Earth. Compatible with Argos System
HSC Argentina CONAE Imaging of aurorae, fires, and lights
MWR Argentina CONAE Radiometry
Canada CSA
Infrared imagery, determination of sea temperatures
ROSA Italy ASI Measurement of temperature and humidity in the atmosphere
TDP Argentina CONAE Technology demonstration involving GPS navigation and inertial guidance[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "SAC-D (AQUARIUS) Satellite details 2011-024A NORAD 37673". N2YO. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Aquarius". Nasa. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Aquarius/SAC-D Instruments". CONAE. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Vandenberg delays launch of Aquarius satellite". KSBY6. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "NASA's 'Age of Aquarius' Dawns With California Launch". NASA GSFC. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  6. ^ "Aquarius / SAC-D Satellite Mission". Earth & Space Research. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  7. ^ Clark, Stephen (2009-12-26). "Ocean-watching satellite facing delays in Argentina". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 

External links[edit]