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The Aqua spacecraft was launched on May 4, 2002 with six Earth-observing instruments on board to collect data on a wide variety of Earth system variables. After ten years of on-orbit operations, Aqua has provided data that have contributed to over 2000 scientific publications, with new results on the Earth's energy budget, trace gases and particulate matter in the atmosphere, vegetation on land and in the oceans, and many aspects of the water cycle, including evaporation and transpiration, water vapor, cloud cover, precipitation, the oceans, sea ice and land ice, snow cover, and soil moisture. Additionally, Aqua data have been used to assist in practical applications ranging from weather forecasting to the deployment of firefighters and the routing of aircraft. Although the six-year design life of the satellite has been successfully completed and exceeded, enough fuel remains on Aqua for approximately another ten years of operations.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:6 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: June 2013