TRW Ships NASA's Aqua Earth Observatory to Vandenberg AFB

Press Release From: TRW, Inc.
Posted: Monday, February 25, 2002

TRW Inc. last night shipped NASA's Aqua Earth Observing System spacecraft to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. for launch preparation. Built and rigorously tested at TRW's Space Park manufacturing facility, the 6,837-pound spacecraft is equipped with sophisticated instruments to monitor rainfall, snow, sea ice, soil moisture and clouds.

Aqua was nestled into a special shipping container, placed in the cargo hold of a tractor-trailer rig and convoyed with a police escort up the California coastline. At Vandenberg, the spacecraft will undergo final tests as it is integrated with a Delta II rocket for launch this spring.

``We're excited to see Aqua moving forward on its journey, '' said Tim Hannemann, TRW Space & Electronics president and chief executive. ``Aqua's instruments will gather important data about global energy and water cycles, so scientists can improve our knowledge of climate. With Aqua's mission success as their primary focus, TRW and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center have combined their extensive experience developing science spacecraft to produce a highly capable observatory.''

Aqua is a member of TRW's T-300 spacecraft family, designed to provide low-jitter, precision pointing and longevity for scientific and remote sensing payloads. Its eight science instruments will send streams of data to Earth for analysis by teams of scientists worldwide. TRW is also building a sibling to Aqua, called Aura, which will study the Earth's ozone, air quality and climate with an entirely different instrument suite.

TRW provides advanced-technology products and services for the aerospace, systems and automotive markets. Company news releases can be found at .

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