TRW has completed the integration of the six science experiments to fly on the Aqua satellite, formerly the Earth Observing System (EOS) PM. The satellite, being built with a sister spacecraft, EOS Chemistry, for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, will fly in December.

The Aqua, which will complement the first EOS spacecraft, the Terra polar-orbiting platform launched last year, will take climate-related measurements of the atmosphere, cloud cover, precipitation, snow cover and sea ice. The mission will assess long-term environmental changes, identifying human and natural causes, and advance development models for long-term forecasting.

While Lockheed Martin-built Terra is the original large platform designed for the EOS programme, the Aqua and EOS Chemistry are based on smaller, standardised, spacecraft buses that allow instruments to be attached on a "mix and match" basis.

Source: Flight International