Artist's rendering of NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument
Artist's rendering of NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument (inset), which will launch to the International Space Station in 2014 to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction and help improve weather forecasts, including hurricane monitoring. It will be installed on the end of the station's Columbus laboratory. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Johnson Space Center.
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NASA opens a new era this month in its exploration of our home planet with the launch of the first in a series of Earth science instruments to the International Space Station. A media briefing on this addition to NASA's Earth-observing program will air at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) Monday, Sept. 8, on NASA Television and the agency's website.

The first Earth-observing instrument to be mounted on the exterior of the space station will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on the next SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services flight. ISS-RapidScat will monitor ocean winds for climate research, weather predictions and hurricane monitoring from the space station's unique vantage point.

The second instrument is the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), a laser instrument that will measure clouds and the location and distribution of pollution, dust, smoke and other particulates in the atmosphere. CATS will follow ISS-RapidScat on the fifth SpaceX space station resupply flight.

The briefing will take place at the agency's Headquarters in Washington. The briefing panelists are:

-- Julie Robinson, ISS Program chief scientist, NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston

-- Steve Volz, associate director for flight programs in the Earth Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington

-- Melanie Miller, lead SpaceX-4 robotics officer, Johnson Space Center

-- Ernesto Rodriguez, ISS-RapidScat project scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

-- Matthew McGill, CATS principal investigator, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The briefing will be streamed live on the agency's website at:

Media and the public can join the conversation using #EarthRightNow and #ISS, and ask questions using #askNASA.

For more on NASA Earth science launches, research and applications, visit:

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:

News Media Contact

Alan Buis
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Steve Cole / Joshua Buck
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-0918 / 202-358-1100 /