Press Release

NASA Announces Briefing on New Mission to Track Water in Earth’s Soil

By SpaceRef Editor
January 5, 2015
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NASA will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 8, in the James E. Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington to discuss the upcoming Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission.

The briefings will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s website.

SMAP, set for a Jan. 29 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, will provide the most accurate, highest-resolution global measurements of soil moisture ever obtained from space and will detect whether the ground is frozen or thawed. The data will be used to enhance scientists’ understanding of the processes that link Earth’s water, energy and carbon cycles.

The briefing participants are:

Christine Bonniksen, SMAP program executive with the Science Mission Directorate’s Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington

Kent Kellogg, SMAP project manager with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California

Dara Entekhabi, SMAP science team lead, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Brad Doorn, SMAP applications lead, Science Mission Directorate’s Applied Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters

Media may ask questions from participating agency centers or by telephone. To participate by phone, reporters must send an email providing their name, affiliation and telephone number to Dwayne Brown at by noon Thursday.

Media and the public also may ask questions during the briefing on Twitter using the hashtag #askNASA.

SMAP is the last of five NASA Earth science missions scheduled for launch within a 12-month period. NASA monitors Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing.

For more information about NASA’s Earth science activities, visit

JPL manages the SMAP mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and updated scheduling information, visit

For more information about NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive mission, visit



SpaceRef staff editor.