Sciences and Exploration Directorate



Flight Project




Launch Date:

June 2011


The Aquarius mission provided NASA's first global observations of sea surface salinity, giving climatologists a better understanding of the ocean's role in Earth's water cycle and weather patterns, as well as global climate variability.

Together with sensors that measure sea level, ocean color, temperature, winds, rainfall and evaporation, Aquarius was the NASA-built primary instrument aboard the Argentinian space agency's Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas spacecraft. Data gathered over its mission lifetime offered a much clearer picture of how the ocean works, how it is linked to climate, and how it may respond to climate change.

Key Staff
    Artist illustration of Aquarius satellite in orbit over Earth