US: NASA’s CALIPSO and CloudSat satellites have completed 10 years of work in the orbit, the space agency announced on Tuesday. Ten years ago, the satellites took their first images for the atmospheric aerosol LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) and cloud-profiling radar missions.r
At the occasion, the American manufacturer of spacecraft and components, Ball Aerospace celebrated the ten-year milestone when the first images were returned.
“Ball Aerospace is proud to have provided innovative technologies for both of these global science missions,” said Jim Oschmann, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Civil Space business unit. “Ensuring mission success and good value for programs that last far beyond their design life is how we help our customers achieve their missions.”
The satellites joined the A-Train, a coordinated group of international satellites providing simultaneous observation data used by scientists to advance knowledge of Earth-system science. The CALIPSO and CloudSat atmospheric aerosol LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) and cloud-profiling radar missions launched on April 28, 2006 to provide simultaneous observation data used by scientists to advance knowledge of Earth-system science.
CALIPSO has traveled more than 1.6 billion miles, and has fired its laser over 5.8 billion times and is still going strong. The satellite has produced more than 90 terabytes of data, and orbited the Earth 43,000 times to study how clouds and aerosols impact the Earth’s climate.
On the other hand, CloudSat launched with capabilities 1,000 times more sensitive than typical weather radar. It uses millimeter-wavelength radar to measure the altitude and properties of clouds to provide scientists never-before-seen 3-D perspectives of Earth’s clouds that answer questions about how they form, evolve and affect our weather, climate and freshwater supply.