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12 December 2001 Overview of Earth science missions at the Goddard Space Flight Center
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The Earth Science Enterprise distinguishes three types of space flight missions: systematic observation missions, exploratory missions, and operational precursor or technology demonstration missions. All three types of missions are represented at the Goddard Space Flight Center, and we will discuss them in turn. Systematic Observation Missions provide long-term continuity of critical earth observations; at GSFC they include Landsat 7 and Terra, which were launched in 1999 and are now operational and returning data; the Aqua and Icesat missions are scheduled for launch later in the year, the SORCE mission in 2002 and the Aura mission in 2003. Exploratory missions are expected to be one-time missions that address a focused set of scientific questions. Exploratory missions at GSFC include QuikTOMS, VCL, CloudSat, ESSP3-CENA, and Grace. Finally, operational precursor and technology development missions are intended to lead to future operational deployment in low Earth orbit or geostationary orbit (within the framework of the NPOESS and GOES programs). The first technology development mission, EO-1 was launched last year. The NPOESS Preparatory Project, or NPP, is currently in formulation. We briefly introduce each of these missions, outlining the major characteristics and anticipating their data products. The overall development schedule is shown.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Francesco Bordi and Christopher J. Scolese "Overview of Earth science missions at the Goddard Space Flight Center", Proc. SPIE 4540, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites V, (12 December 2001);


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