June 15, 2009 - QuikSCAT Sticks Around

QuikSCAT Sticks Around Built in just one year, NASA’s Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) is an earth-observing satellite that measures the speed and direction of ocean winds. It is in a sun-synchronous 500-mile orbit, passing close to Earth’s north and south poles. QuikSCAT data, like this global view of ocean winds, helps predict severe weather, but also reveals changes in vegetation and ice extent over land and polar regions. Launched ten years ago this week, QuikSCAT was originally a “quick recovery” mission to temporarily fill the data gap created by the loss of the NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT) in 1997; however, in light of the 2003 failure of the ADEOS II satellite that was to succeed the NSCAT, QuikSCAT is currently the only US-owned satellite that measures surface winds over the oceans.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Weekly Calendar

June 15-21, 2009

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 15

Last Quarter Moon 6:15 pm
Juno 0.4° north of Moon

1971: First Titan III-D rocket launch

Moon phase Tuesday 16

Uranus 6° south of Moon

1963: Vostok 6 launched; Valentina Tereshkova first woman in space, still the only solo spaceflight by a woman

Moon phase Wednesday 17

1985: STS-51G Discovery launched

Moon phase Thursday 18

1799: William Lassell born
1983: STS-7 Challenger launched; Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space
2009: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched

Moon phase Friday 19

Venus 2° south of Mars
Mars 6° south of Moon

1999: QuikSCAT launched

Moon phase Saturday 20

1985: NASA announces cola wars will take place on shuttle mission STS-51F
1996: STS-78 Columbia launched

Moon phase Sunday 21

Father’s Day

Summer Solstice 1:46 am
Mercury 7° south of Moon

1993: STS-57 Endeavour launched
2004: SpaceShipOne launched, first privately-funded human space flight

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