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Contact: Gabrielle Birchak-Birkman (818) 393-4359

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 26, 2001

JPL NAMES MANAGER OF MICROWAVE LIMB SOUNDER

       Dennis Flower of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has been appointed manager of NASA's Earth Observing System Microwave Limb Sounder, a project to study atmospheric ozone chemistry.

       He will oversee the development of the Microwave Limb Sounder instrument and its delivery to NASA's Aura spacecraft, proposed for launch in June 2003. Aura, a five-year mission, is third in a series of Earth-observing satellites that study Earth's land, ocean, and atmosphere.

       "At present, the biggest threat to ozone is the presence of chlorine from chlorofluorocarbons. It is at peak level," Flower said. "Even though the use of chlorofluorocarbons has been banned, it will take 50 to 100 years for chlorine to decay to its natural concentration. This mission will monitor the Antarctic ozone hole and take measurements of trace gases to help us understand ozone chemistry in our upper atmosphere."

       The new instrument, he said, will cover a broader range and will enable study of ozone chemistry in more detail than its predecessor, the Microwave Limb Sounder on NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite now in orbit.

       Flower has been with JPL since 1976. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from Imperial College in London, and holds a doctorate in physics from London University.

       Flower lives in La Canada, Calif. and enjoys golfing with his three sons.

       The Earth Observing System Microwave Limb Sounder is part of NASA's Earth Sciences Enterprise, a long-term research program dedicated to understanding how human-induced and natural changes affect our world.

       JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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1-26-2001 GABB
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