Mission to Planet Earth » Mission to Planet Earth – Payson Stevens

In the 1980s and 1990s NASA launched additional satellites to study the earth. INI continued supporting NASA’s mission to produce many print documents for multiple audiences. INI often participated with science working groups to visually conceptualize complex information.

Earth Observing System/EOS

NASA’s EOS has been a series of satellite missions and scientific instruments orbiting the Earth for long-term global observations of the land surface, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans of the Earth. The satellite component of the program was launched in 1997.

Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite/UARS

UARS was a satellite mission to study global atmospheric change launched in 1991. Its goals included detailed satellite study of the Earth’s stratosphere, mesosphere and lower atmosphere and establishing a comprehensive database for understanding atmospheric ozone depletion. Mike Luther was NASA’s UARS Program Manager.


Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission/TRMM

A joint NASA and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) satellite program, launched in 1997, to measure systematic tropical rainfall to further understand weather and climate.


Global Tropospheric Experiment/GTE

GTE missions (1983-2001) collected a rich set of data records of atmospheric observations primarily using aircraft supplemented by ground-based measurements and satellite observations. GTE measured critical trace atmospheric gases to understand the fundamental behavior of the atmosphere. Joe McNeal was NASA’s GTE Program Manager.


Ocean Color/SeaWifs

NASA launched different satellites to study ocean color from space starting in 1978 with NIMBUS-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner/CZCS. Subsequent missions, that INI supported with print educational out-reach, included NASAs Ocean Color Program. The presence and concentration of small single-celled plants (phytoplankton) are measured by their chlorophyll color from satellite instruments such as the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS). These observations of ocean color allow estimates and types of phytoplankton in different areas. The images indicate the health and chemistry of the ocean and by comparing images taken at different periods changes that occur overtime can be studied. Gene Carl Feldman (Goddard Space Flight Center) has played a seminal role in the development of ocean color satellite observations.