David Steitz Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358-1730) Nancy Neal Headquarters, Washington (Phone: 202/358

-1730) NOTE TO EDITORS: N02-074

Nov. 22, 2002

EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE FEATURED IN NASA BRIEFING NASA experts in Earth and Space Science will brief reporters about two upcoming launches at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 26 in the NASA Headquarters auditorium in Washington. NASA is sending three unique spacecraft into orbit on very different scientific missions, illustrating the breadth of NASA's research in Earth and Space Science. The combined science overview press briefing will cover the SeaWinds on ADEOS II, ICESat and CHIPSat missions. Key representatives from each program will present brief remarks about their respective missions. Reporters at NASA Headquarters and at participating NASA Centers will be able to ask questions of the panel. NASA plans to broadcast this briefing. It will be carried live on NASA TV (and NASA TV on the Web), dependant upon Space Shuttle activities. Briefing participants and their topics are: * Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Associate Administrator, NASA Office of Earth Science Overview of ICESat, ADEOS II, One NASA * Dr. Ann Kinney, Director for Astronomy and Physics, Office of Space Science Space Science Overview * Dr. Jay Zwally, ICESat Project Scientist ICESat Mission Overview * Mr. Moshe Pniel, Scatterometer Projects Manager SeaWinds on ADEOS II Mission Overview * Dr. Mark Hurwitz, CHIPSat Principal Investigator, University of California at Berkeley CHIPSat Mission Overview

ICESat - (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) is the benchmark Earth Observing System mission for measuring ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics. The ICESat mission will provide multi-year elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balance as well as cloud property information, especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar areas. Earth's ice sheets have the potential to contribute greatly to the rise and fall of sea level, currently estimated to be rising at roughly 1-2 mm/year. ICESat will help scientists identify the role ice sheets play in sea level change. It will also provide topography and vegetation data around the globe, in addition to the polarspecific coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. CHIPSat - (Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS)) is a mission designed to examine the interstellar medium, the gas that fills the space between the stars. Just as raindrops split sunlight into colors of the rainbow, the CHIPS instrument will collect and separate the diffuse extreme ultraviolet glow from the interstellar medium. By measuring the distribution and intensity of the glow, scientists will be able to test several competing theories about the formation of the clouds of hot interstellar gas that surround our solar system. ICESat and CHIPSat are scheduled to launch aboard a Delta rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Dec. 19, 2002, between 4:45 - 5:30 p.m. PST. SeaWinds on ADEOS II - an international mission launching from Japan, designed to provide long-term, high-resolution, ocean-surface wind data (both speed and direction) used for studies of ocean circulation, climate and air-sea interaction. These measurements are crucial to understanding and predicting severe weather patterns and climate changes. SeaWinds is a radar instrument that sends pulses to the ocean surface and measures the echoes, called backscatter, that bounce back to the satellite. SeaWinds on ADEOS II is a joint mission between NASA, the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). SeaWinds is scheduled to launch on Dec. 14, 2002, at 10:31

a.m. Japan Standard Time (5:31 p.m., December 13, Pacific Standard Time), from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center, aboard Japan's Advanced Earth Observation Satellite (ADEOS) II. More information about ICESat is available on the Web at: http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov/ For more information about CHIPSat, see: http://chips.ssl.berkeley.edu/ The SeaWinds on ADEOS II campaign is on the Web at: http://winds.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/seawinds/seaindex.html -end-