Contact: Rob Gutro
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Caption: This graphic (not to scale) depicts the satellites that make up the Afternoon Constellation -- the "A-Train." Note also that CALIPSO trails CloudSat by only 17.5 seconds to allow for synergy between Aqua, CloudSat and CALIPSO. Aura, originally positioned 15 minutes behind Aqua, was relocated in May 2008 to enable better coincidence between its Microwave Limb Sounder instrument and CloudSat's radar instrument. The drawing also depicts the two newest members to be added to the A-Train: Glory, a NASA Goddard mission scheduled for launch next year, and GCOM-W1, a JAXA mission scheduled for launch in 2011.
Credit: Ed Hanka
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Related news release: The PARASOL Satellite moving off the A-Train's track