US, October 14. 2014: NASA has successfully installed and activated its first Earth-observing (EO) instrument ISS-RapidScat (ISS Rapid Scatterometer) on the International Space Station (ISS).
The instrument will monitor ocean winds for climate research as well as weather predictions and hurricane monitoring.
In a statement NASA revealed that ISS-RapidScat’s antenna has started spinning and has begun transmitting and receiving its first winds data from October 1.
Ernesto Rodriguez from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, California in the US said,"Most satellite missions require weeks or even months to produce data of the quality that we seem to be getting from the first few days of RapidScat."
ISS-RapidScat instrument was launched aboard the SpaceX CRS-4 mission Sep 21 this year. Two additional NASA Earth science instruments are scheduled to be launched in 2016.
Julie Robinson, a chief scientist for the ISS Programme at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston said,"“It has a different orbit than other Earth remote sensing platforms. It is closer to Earth and it sees Earth at different times of the day with a different schedule. That offers opportunities that complement other Earth-sensing instruments in orbit today."