OCO-2 "game changing" earth science
The A-Train convoy of orbiting earth observing satellites ...
NASA and its international partners, within the larger mission of earth science research from space, operate Earth-observing satellites that closely follow one after another along the same orbital “track.” This coordinated group of satellites, constituting a significant subset of NASA’s current operating major satellite missions, is called the Afternoon Constellation, or the A-Train, for short. The satellites are in a polar orbit, crossing the equator northbound at about 1:30 p.m. local time, within seconds to minutes of each other. This allows near-simultaneous observations of a wide variety of parameters to aid the scientific community in advancing our knowledge of Earth-system science and applying this knowledge for the benefit of society. Five satellites currently fly in the A-Train: GCOM-W1, Aqua, CALIPSO, CloudSat, and Aura. On November 16, 2011, PARASOL was lowered to 9.5 km under the A-Train and on December 18, 2013 PARASOL ceased operation, fully exiting the A-Train.
OCO-2 joined the configuration in July 2014.
Consider the Existing Earth Science Missions
- NASA's Earth Science/observation/monitoring are vital resources our generation is passing forward to future generations...
- The critical goal is to provide the capabilities to make informed decisions and shape intelligent policies to protect and preserve security
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