MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDecember 16, 1999
TERRA EARTH SCIENCE MISSION RESET FOR LAUNCH DEC. 18
The launch of NASA's Earth-observing Terra satellite from
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas
IIAS rocket has been tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 18,
after cancellation of Thurday's launch attempt due to a launch
ground-system problem. The launch window for Saturday's attempt is
25 minutes in duration, extending from 10:33 to 10:58 a.m. PST
(1:33 to 1:58 p.m. EST).
Terra bears state-of-the-art instruments, including two
managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., to
study interactions between the land, atmosphere, ocean and life
on the planet.
Terra, managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Md., is the NASA flagship mission in a new series of
spacecraft dedicated to the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
Terra carries five sophisticated instruments with measurement and
accuracy capabilities never before flown. See
for details on the mission.
Terra takes a global approach to data collection that will
enable scientists to study the interaction among the four spheres
of the Earth system -- the oceans, lands, atmosphere and
biosphere. Long-term weather and climate prediction requires the
collection of better data over longer periods to understand the
links between these spheres.
The two instruments managed by JPL are:
- The JPL-built Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer,
called MISR, which will improve our understanding of the Earth's
ecology and climate by studying how changes in the amounts,
types, and distribution of clouds, airborne particulates, and
surface covers can affect our climate. See
http://www-misr.jpl.nasa.gov for more information.
- The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection
Radiometer, called ASTER, a joint U.S.-Japanese instrument, which
will produce detailed global, regional and local image maps of
land surface temperature, reflectance and elevation and other
characteristics. ASTER is the only high-spatial resolution
instrument on Terra, and the instrument's ability to serve as a
"zoom" lens for the other instruments will be particularly
important for land studies, detecting surface changes, and for
calibrating instruments. See http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov
for more information.