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Building the new radiometer took years to accomplish and involved the development of advanced algorithms and an onboard computing system capable of crunching a deluge of data estimated at 192 million samples per second.

Read: NASA Builds Sophisticated Earth-Observing Microwave Radiometer

This photograph shows the SMAP propellant tank after installation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The propulsion tank was made by ATK Space Systems in Commerce, Calif. The technicians and engineers pictured are (left to right) John Shuping, Ryan Van Schilfgaarde, Bob Path and Vinh Dang. Credit: NASA JPL/Corinne Gatto Credit: NASA

This is an artist concept of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive mission. Credit: NASA/JPL

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