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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft is secured to the Rotation and Test Fixture in cell 3 at the Spaceport Systems International payload processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. There, the spacecraft will undergo inspection of its solar arrays and tests will be conducted on its propulsion subsystem. Further testing of the satellites various other systems will follow. Following final tests, the spacecraft will be integrated to a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket in preparation for the targeted June launch. Aquarius, the NASA-built primary instrument on the SAC-D spacecraft, will map global changes in salinity at the ocean's surface. The three-year mission will provide new insights into how variations in ocean surface salinity relate to these fundamental climate processes. Photo credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin, VAFB
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