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David Steitz

Headquarters, Washington Nov. 22, 2002


(Phone: 202/358-1730)

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

NOTE TO EDITORS: N02-074

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 polar-
specific 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

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