2 October 2008 NASA's Earth science flight programs
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Abstract
NASA's strategic goal in Earth science is motivated by the fundamental question: "How is the Earth changing and what are the consequences for life on Earth?" NASA's mission in Earth science, as mandated by the Space Act, is to "... conduct aeronautical and space activities so as to contribute materially to ...the expansion of human knowledge of the Earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space". Therefore NASA's role is unique and highly complements those of other U.S. Federal agencies (such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, and Environmental Protection Agency) by continually advancing Earth system science from space, creating new remote sensing capabilities, and enhancing the operational capabilities of other agencies and collaborating with them to advance national Earth science goals. Continuous global observations of variability and change are required to reveal natural variability and the forces involved, the nature of the underlying processes and how these are coupled within the Earth system. NASA's Earth Science Division (ESD) provides these observations through its orbital and suborbital Flight Programs. In the decade 2007-2016, ESD will develop and demonstrate new sensors and interacting constellations of satellites to address critical science questions and enable advances in operational capabilities in response to the National Research Council's Decadal Survey of Earth Science and Applications.
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Steven P. Neeck, Stephen M. Volz, "NASA's Earth science flight programs", Proc. SPIE 7106, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XII, 710602 (2 October 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.803676; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.803676
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