Press Release

Lockheed Martin Terra Earth Observing System spacecraft readied for December launch

By SpaceRef Editor
December 14, 1999
Filed under

Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space

Contact: Buddy Nelson, (510) 797-0349

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Lockheed Martin Terra Earth Observing System spacecraft readied for December launch

SUNNYVALE, CA, December 14, 1999 — The Terra spacecraft, built at the Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space facility
in Valley Forge, PA for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MD, is being prepared for launch on December 16 from
Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard an International Launch Services Atlas booster.

“It is very satisfying to have the Terra spacecraft here at Vandenberg ready for launch,” said Mike Kavka, Lockheed
Martin Terra program manager at Valley Forge. “Our workforce at the Delaware Valley facilities of Missiles & Space
have been the premier builders of Earth-remote sensing spacecraft since the very beginning of the Space Age. So it is
with particular pride that we get ready to launch Terra, the final remote sensing satellite built there. As we
consolidate our satellite operations in Sunnyvale, we will not forget the significant role our Delaware Valley
employees played in monitoring and mapping our planet.”

The launch of Terra will mark the beginning of a comprehensive study of clouds, water vapor, small particles in the
atmosphere (called “aerosol” particles), trace gases, land surface and oceanic properties, as well as the interaction
between them and their effect on the Earth’s energy budget and climate. Moreover, Terra will observe changes in the
Earth’s radiation energy budget — which is the amount of incoming energy from the sun minus outgoing energy from
reflected sunlight and emitted heat. If we are to succeed in building predictive computermodels of these complex
interactions, we must clearly comprehend global climatic processes and parameters. The Terra team estimates that it
will complete the first Earth system models within five years after launch.

Terra is a joint project between the United States, Japan, and Canada. The U.S. provided the spacecraft and three
instruments developed by NASA Field Centers — the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES), the
Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), and the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS).
Research Center, Hampton, Va. provided two CERES units, the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provided MISR, and Goddard Space Flight Center provided the MODIS
instrument. The Japanese
Ministry of International Trade and Industry provided the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection
Radiometer (ASTER). The Canadian Space Agency provided an instrument called Measurements of Pollution In The
Troposphere (MOPITT).

The spacecraft instruments comprise eight separate sensors with a range of resolutions that will gather data on
clouds, aerosols, and the Earth’s radiative balance, and measure surface properties and their interaction with the

* CERES, the Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System, will measure Earth’s radiation budget and atmospheric
radiation from the top of the atmosphere using a broadband scanning radiometer with bolometers detectors.

* MISR, the Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer, will measures top-of-atmosphere, cloud and surface angular
reflectance functions, and measure surface BRDF, aerosol, and vegetation properties using four spectral bands in each
of nine imaging cameras oriented at
different angles.

* MODIS, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-Radiometer, will measure biological and physical processes on
land and the ocean using a cross-track scanning multi-spectral radiometer with 36 spectral bands from visible to
thermal infrared.

* ASTER, the Advanced Spacebourne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, will provide high-resolution
images of the land surface, water, ice, and clouds using three separate sensor subsystems covering 14 multi-spectral
bands from visible to thermal infrared.

* MOPITT, the Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere, will measure carbon monoxide and methane in the
troposphere using correlation spectroscopy with pressure modulated and length modulated gas cells.

The science objectives of the Terra mission are to begin the continuous, long-term, calibrated measurements of
global processes. Terra scientists seek to improve their understanding of the role of clouds and aerosols in Earth’s
radiation budget. They hope to discover the sources and sinks of energy, water, and carbon in the terrestrial
biosphere. They want to better understand terrestrial ecosystem dynamics and their links to climate, sea surface
temperature and ocean primary productivity.

Terra and subsequent EOS missions form the core of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise. The goal of the enterprise is to
turn NASA’s space-based observing technology and scientific expertise to the study of the planet Earth as an integrated
system of land, ocean, atmosphere, ice, and biological processes. By viewing the Earth from space, scientists can
begin to understand how the systems work and how they interact.
Questions posed and answers found in this grand scientific inquiry will likely yield knowledge of substantial practical
value to society in weather and climate forecasting, in agriculture, in natural resource management, in urban and
regional planning, and elsewhere.

Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, based in Sunnyvale, CA, is a leading supplier of satellites and space systems to
military, civil government and commercial communications organizations around the world. These spacecraft and
systems have enhanced military and commercial
communications; provided new and timely remote-sensing information; and furnished new data for thousands of
scientists studying our planet and the universe.


NOTE TO EDITORS: High and low resolution images of the Terra spacecraft are available for downloading at the
following URL:

SpaceRef staff editor.