On June 10, 2011 at 14:20 UTC the Delta-2 rocket-carrier was launched by United Launch Alliance from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA.
The rocket orbited the Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas-D spacecraft. The SAC-D satellite, which also carries instruments contributed by NASA, Canada, France and Italy, was assembled in Argentina, then shipped to Brazil for pre-flight testing before finally traveling to Vandenberg Air Force Base for launch.
NASA's Aquarius sensor package is designed to make exceptionally precise global measurements of salt content at the ocean surface. The mission is expected to run at least several years to answer fundamental questions about the climate.