Aqua, named after the Latin word for water, stands as a pivotal component of NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS). Launched on May 4, 2002, Aqua is a scientific research satellite designed to unravel the mysteries of Earth’s water cycle and contributes significantly to our understanding of Earth’s complex systems, aiding in climate research and enhancing our ability to monitor and manage this precious resource.
From its Sun-synchronous orbit, Aqua conducts an intricate study of precipitation, evaporation, and the dynamic cycling of water on our planet. This vital mission represents the second major component of the EOS, preceding Terra (1999) and succeeded by Aura (2004).
Aqua is a crucial part of the satellite formation known as the “A Train,” which includes OCO-2, the Japanese GCOM W1, CALIPSO, CloudSat, and Aura. These synchronized satellites work in harmony to provide comprehensive insights into Earth’s climate, atmosphere, and water-related phenomena.