Mark Hess Headquarters, Washington, D.C. (Phone: 202/453-4164) Paula Cleggett-Haleim Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

(Phone: 202/453-1548)

January 24, 1990

Mike Braukus Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. (Phone: 301/286-5565) RELEASE: 90-10 MANAGEMENT OF POLAR PLATFORM TO CHANGE NASA Administrator Richard H. Truly has approved a plan to transfer the management of the polar orbiting platform, currently under development by the Office of Space Flight as part of the Space Station Freedom program, to the Office of Space Science and Applications which has responsibility for the proposed Earth Observing System (EOS) program. President Bush has made preservation of the environment a top priority. NASA's EOS is a key element of the overall Mission to Planet Earth initiative, the purpose of which is to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the Earth's environment. EOS will observe the Earth from polar orbit to understand the processes that control the global environment. EOS is planned to be a major new effort within NASA, and the unmanned polar platform will be the first piece of hardware to be built for this program. "This gives the responsibility for managing the EOS platform to the office responsible for carrying out the EOS mission," said Dr. William B. Lenoir, Associate Administrator for Space Flight. "In a management sense, it puts the development and operation of the platform closer to the users of the platform."

Plans for EOS observations have been developed in coordination with NASA's international partners. "This transition plan was discussed with our international partners and we have assured them that agreements between us will be honored in all regards," said Lenoir. - more -2 The role of the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., which manages the EOS program and the polar platform, has not been altered by this decision. Goddard will continue to play a vital role in the Freedom program as the NASA center responsible for developing the Flight Telerobotic Servicer, a space robot that will be used in the assembly and maintenance of the manned base. Goddard will retain its management responsibility for developing the platform with General Electric Astro Space, Princeton, N.J., as the prime contractor. Current plans call for the U.S. platform to be launched in 1998 on a Titan IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The platform will have an orbital lifetime of at least 5 years. Transition of management of the polar platform will be conducted during the 1990 fiscal year. Beginning in FY 1991, complete responsibility for the polar platform will be transferred to the Office of Space Science and Applications.

- end -

TO: MDS/PRA Group 1615 L Street, N.W. - Suite 100 Washington, D.C. 20036 DATE & TIME: JANUARY 24, 1990 ORDERED BY: Edward Campion NASA Headquarters/LMD 400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20546

PHONE: 202/453-8400

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