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Proceedings Paper

NASA Earth Science Flight Program
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Paper Abstract

Earth is a complex, dynamic system we do not yet fully understand. The Earth system, like the human body, comprises diverse components that interact in complex ways. We need to understand the Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere as a single connected system. Our planet is changing on all spatial and temporal scales. The purpose of NASA's Earth Science Division (ESD) is to develop a scientific understanding of Earth's system and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards. A major component of NASA’s ESD and residing in its Flight Program is a coordinated series of satellite and airborne missions for long-term global observations of the land surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, and oceans. This coordinated approach enables an improved understanding of the Earth as an integrated system. NASA is completing the development and launch of a set of Foundational missions, Decadal Survey missions, and Climate Continuity missions. As a result of the recent launches of the Aquarius/SAC-D and Soumi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellites, 16 missions are currently operating on-orbit and the Flight Program has three mission in development and a further eight Decadal Survey and Climate Continuity missions under study. Technology development is continuing for a remaining five third tier Decadal Survey mission. The first Earth Venture low to moderate cost, small to medium-sized full orbital mission, EV-2 was competitively selected and its early development activities have commenced. The EV-1 sub-orbital projects continue in implementation. Instruments for orbital missions of opportunity and the second set of EV sub-orbital projects are also being planned. An overview of plans and current status will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 November 2012
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8533, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XVI, 85330E (19 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.981149
Show Author Affiliations
Steven P. Neeck, NASA Headquarters (United States)
Stephen M. Volz, NASA Headquarters (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8533:
Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XVI
Roland Meynart; Steven P. Neeck; Haruhisa Shimoda, Editor(s)

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