Aquarius/SAC-D is a collaboration between NASA and Argentina’s space agency, Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE). The Argentine-built spacecraft, Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas (SAC)-D, carries several CONAE-sponsored science sensors, including those that measure sea ice concentration and sea surface temperature. The primary payload, NASA’s Aquarius instrument, began mapping global sea surface salinity in late August 2011 and has detected large-scale salinity distribution features clearly and with sharp contrast. Ocean-related data from Aquarius/SAC-D are complementary, as are the U.S. and Argentine approaches to education and public outreach for this satellite mission.
The Aquarius mission is brimming with educational content that hits all four areas of STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The design and engineering of the satellite, the science of ocean observing, the technical specifications for the mission and the importance of understanding global processes through data can all be illustrated using Aquarius as an example. NASA’s education and outreach team has taken a multi-pronged approach to creating educational products and opportunities for educators to utilize information and data about Aquarius.
Presented by A. deCharon, M. Rabolli, Y. Chao, G. Lagerloef, and S. Torrusio at the 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT
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