Brian Dunbar Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1547


February 2, 1995

Ernie Shannon Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (Phone: 301/286-8955) RELEASE: 95-11 SUCCESSFUL U.S.-RUSSIAN OZONE-MONITORING MISSION APPEARS OVER More than three years after it began, the mission of NASA's Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) aboard the Russian Meteor-3 spacecraft appears to be over. Recent attempts to revive the instrument, which failed in December, have been unsuccessful. Though monitoring of the device will continue through April, the instrument team has said it is unlikely that further efforts will succeed. Launched from Plesetsk in the then-Soviet Union on Aug. 15, 1991, the TOMS instrument has already exceeded its design life of two years, providing important data and global maps of total ozone levels. TOMS data is used primarily to determine long-term ozone trends, detect sulfur dioxide clouds from volcanic eruptions and detect atmospheric aerosols and dust storms. ÒEven though it appears we will lose the instrument, I am quite pleased with TOMS and the Russian spacecraft's performance during the past 3 years,Ó said Dr. Jay Herman, TOMS/Meteor-3 principal investigator, of NASAÕs Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. ÒThe instrument has produced a large quantity of critical atmospheric data longer than its designed 2-year lifetime.Ó The TOMS/Meteor-3 instrument is NASAÕs second. The first, which operated from 1978 through 1993, provided part of the scientific underpinning for international treaties banning the manufacture and use of ozone-depleting

chemicals. No useful data have been received since Dec. 27, 1994, when spacecraft telemetry indicated a lack of steady electrical current to the instrument's chopper motor. The chopper divides, or Òchops,Ó incoming solar energy for measurements of ultraviolet radiation. -more-2The chopper reduces the amount of noise in the observed radiance data and improves the accuracy of the ozone determination. Recently, ground controllers in Russia successfully ÒwarmedÓ the Meteor-3 spacecraft in hopes of recovering the instrument, but without results. ÒWe appreciate our Russian colleaguesÕ efforts to help us try an innovative approach to spacecraft operations,Ó Herman said. "This kind of cooperative spirit has marked all phases of the mission, from planning and operations to data analysis. The result has been a very smooth mission." U.S. and Russian engineers will continue to monitor the instrument. A power cycling technique will be tried again in April, when the spacecraft's orbit will lead it to warm naturally. Members of the instrument team, however, believe the chance of reviving TOMS is very small. NASA plans to fly two more TOMS within 13 months. The first is scheduled for launch aboard a Pegasus launch vehicle in May, the second aboard the Japanese Advanced Earth Observing Satellite in February 1996. The fifth TOMS instrument will fly aboard a Russian Meteor-3M satellite in 2000. Even without an operational TOMS in orbit, ozone studies will continue. A network of ground stations and satellites, including NASAÕs Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and Earth Radiation Budget Satellite and NOAA weather satellites, are still obtaining local, regional and some global ozone measurements. ÒWe will still be able to provide ozone data to scientists,Ó Jack Kaye of NASA Headquarters, the TOMS program scientist, "but not with the high quality and spatial coverage of TOMS. This instrument is unique in its ability to provide highly accurate daily maps of ozone over the entire sunlit Earth. The loss of TOMS will particularly affect our ability to study details of ozone dynamics at high latitudes in the winter and early spring,

when substantial ozone depletion can occur.Ó TOMS data are one of the most visible elements of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, the Agency's long term, coordinated research effort to study the Earth's global environment. It is comprised of ground-based, airborne and space-based investigations into how the Earth's large environmental systemsÑair, water, land and lifeÑinteract and change, and how human activities contribute to those changes. Mission to Planet Earth data will be made available to scientists worldwide so that humans ultimately will be able to make informed decisions about how their activities will affect the environment. -more-3The TOMS instrument is managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center for NASA's Office of Mission to Planet Earth, Washington, DC. - end NASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type the words "subscribe press-release" (no quotes). The system will reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. A second automatic message will include additional information on the service. Questions should be directed to (202) 358-4043.