One-half of the instrument payload aboard NASA’s $916 million Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite has failed after collecting just two months of data, NASA announced Wednesday after weeks of troubleshooting turned up no progress in recovering the sensor.
Engineers have so far been unable to restart a balky radar aboard NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive environmental satellite launched in January, robbing scientists of the most detailed maps of how much water is locked up in the top layers of Earth’s land masses.
“We had a terrific ride into space aboard the United Launch Alliance’s Delta 2 vehicle. They deposited us exactly where we wanted to be with with accuracy and precision,” said Kent Kellogg, NASA’s SMAP project manager.
The ever-dependable Delta 2 rocket continued its flawless service to NASA and Earth sciences Saturday with the launch of a $916 million environmental probe focused on producing global maps of soil moisture from space.
NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite blasts off aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket Saturday, launching into orbit on a three-year mission to measure moisture levels in Earth’s soils.