Feb. 26, 2015, 8 a.m.
Over the past 12 months NASA has added five missions to its orbiting Earth-observing fleet – the biggest one-year increase in more than a decade. NASA scientists will discuss early observations from the new missions and their current status during a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 26. New views of global carbon dioxide, rain and snowfall, ocean winds, and aerosol particles in the atmosphere will be presented during the briefing. The teleconference panelists are:Peg Luce, deputy director of the Earth Science Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Headquarters, WashingtonGail Skofronick-Jackson, GPM project scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MarylandRalph Basilio, Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 project manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CaliforniaBryan Stiles, ISS-RapidScat science processing lead, NASA’s Jet Propulsion LaboratoryMatthew McGill, Cloud Aerosol Transport System (CATS) principal investigator, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight CenterNASA Releases First Global Rainfall and Snowfall Map from New Mission.Africa, from a CATS point of view.New NASA Earth Science Mission Expand View of Our Home Planet. FIGURE 1 (Luce) -- Over the past 12 months NASA has added five missions to its orbiting Earth-observing fleet – the biggest one-year increase in more than a decade. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory was launched from Japan on Feb. 27, 2014. The most recent mission, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), was launched from California on Jan. 31. Two missions are collecting NASA’s first ongoing Earth observations from the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA FIGURE 2 (Luce) -- NASA s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech FIGURE 7 (Stiles) -- Animation of RapidScat daily coverage. Before RapidScat launched the European ASCAT radar was the only source for near-real-time global ocean surface wind vectors. ASCAT provides forecasters with global coverage every 48 hours. With the addition of RapidScat, wind vectors from one of the two radars are available everywhere (except the polar regions) within 24 hours. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech FIGURE 8 (Stiles) -- Daily variation in zonal (east-west) winds as observed by RapidScat. The animation cycles through 4 times of day. It depicts average variation throughout the day in the west-to-east flow of winds. For each time, areas where winds consistently move more westward at that time of day are colored blue while areas where they move more eastward are red. Regions where the winds stay the same all day or fluctuate randomly are white. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech FIGURE 9 (McGill) -- Video of the installation of the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) instrument on the International Space Station on Jan. 22, 2015. Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center FIGURE 10 (McGill) -- This data image from the CATS lidar instrument shows the vertical distribution of clouds and plumes of dust and smoke measured as the ISS passed over Africa on Feb. 11, 2015. Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center