Town Hall Meeting: NASA's Earth Science – Flight Program Investments in and Planning for the Next-Generation Earth Observatories
Wednesday, 13 January, 12:15–1:15 p.m.; Room 338/339
NASA Earth Science Division has made some significant additions to its fleet of satellites, with the recent launches of GPM, OCO-2, RapidScat, CATS, and SMAP. This brings the total number of operating NASA Earth science research missions to nineteen. In addition, the Division has ten Earth science missions currently in formulation and development, with six scheduled to launch before the end of 2018. These include SAGE III (2016), CYGNSS (2016), TEMPO (2017), GRACE FO (2017), ICESat-2 (2017), and ECOSTRESS (2018). NASA also has the responsibility for defining and implementing, in coordination with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the nation’s Sustainable Land Imaging (SLI) program to follow the currently flying Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 missions. Taking the next step in this process, NASA has initiated the planning for the Landsat 9 project. Another major project NASA is kicking off in 2016 is the PACE mission, to perform radiometric and possibly polarimetric ocean and atmosphere data collection, returning a range of geophysical data from which properties of the ocean and atmosphere can be determined to add to other critical climate and Earth system records. Additionally, NASA has been directed to continue the fundamental climate measurements of solar irradiance, Earth radiation budget, and Ozone profiling to extend these data records into the future. How will NASA meet these demanding measurement objectives? NASA’s Earth Science Division is working now, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the USGS, DOE, international partners, and with the industrial community on science studies, technology investments, and mission definition studies to prepare the next generation of satellites and observations for launch in 2019 and beyond. At this Town Hall meeting we will present the progress and plans for these next generation missions, including mission concepts from the 2007 NRC Decadal Survey (http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/decadal-surveys/) and from the 2010 NASA Climate Plan (http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/). We will identify opportunities for greater interaction with the NASA missions already in formulation and development, as well as opportunities for future collaboration as we move forward with this next generation of missions and measurements.