NASA Ramping Up in Earth Observation

NASA Climate Satellite Launch Delayed
Artist's concept of the Glory spacecraft in orbit. (Image credit: NASA)

SAN FRANCISCO — Strong support

"What a difference a year makes," Michael

In contrast to late 2009 when NASA's Earth Science Division

NASA plans to launch three Earth science satellites in 2011:

The NPP mission, which experienced

The U.S. space agency also is planning to launch in December

A second Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) is scheduled

Meanwhile, the latest spending plan enables NASA to move

The first-tier missions are: the Soil Moisture Active

The tier-two missions accelerated by the current budget plan

Increased funding for Earth sciences also is allowing NASA

The solicitation for new instruments will offer principal

The small satellite solicitation, scheduled to be issued

"The Venture-class program has expanded," Freilich

NASA's Earth science program also is expanding its emphasis

To maintain ongoing records of climate variables, NASA also



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SpaceNews Correspondent

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Debra is a recipient of the 1989 Gerald Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense. Her SN Commercial Drive newsletter is sent out on Wednesdays.