The Earth Observing System (EOS) is a key element of the U.S. Program in Global Change. It is NASA's initiative to provide the scientific means to observe the earth as a system. The EOS satellite system and accompanying Data and Information System (DIS) provide spacebased platforms and groundbased elements for scientific research and information extraction. The program recognizes the need for global coverage, long term observations, and multidisciplinary analyses in order to detect subtle changes in the environment's state. A multidisciplinary payload of active and passive sensors is proposed to accomplish the objectives of the program. International partners are an important element of the program. This paper focuses on the instrument complement for the EOS-A spacecraft since those decisions will occur this year. Significant programmatic constraints and program science decisions will impact the selection of the EOS-A payload.