The sounding of the atmosphere using broadband emission radiometry (SABER) instrument is a 10-channel infrared (1.27-16.9μm) radiometer launched on the TIMED (Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics, and Dynamics) satellite in December 2001 from Vandenburg Air Force Base. SABER measures earthlimb emissions and characterizes infrared radiation, allowing calculation of atmospheric temperature and composition (ozone, water vapor, and carbon dioxide), as well as solar and chemical heating rates and infrared cooling rates. Although SABER focuses on the unexplored 60-180km region, it makes measurements covering the 10-350km altitude region. Ground calibration testing was completed in September 1999. Subsequent data analyses and report generation were completed in June, 2000. This paper provides a brief overview of instrument design, calibration planning, ground calibration testing, and results. Also included is an assessment of nearly five years of post launch validation and calibration maintenance. Using SABER as an example, conclusions are given regarding the benefit of a detailed calibration approach and how it enhances the quality of science data and mission success.