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Earth Observing-1 (NMP)

Earth Observing-1 (NMP) mission graphic

New Millennium Program Earth Observing-1

Phase: Operating

Launch Date: November 21, 2000

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Program(s):Earth Systematic Missions

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Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) is an advanced land-imaging mission that will demonstrate new instruments and spacecraft systems. EO-1 will validate technologies contributing to the significant reduction in cost of follow-on Landsat missions. Launched on a Delta 7320 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, November 21, 2000. EO-1 has a 1-year primary mission but was designed to operate for an additional year.

The NMP EO-1 mission includes three advanced land imaging instruments and five revolutionary cross cutting spacecraft technologies. The hyperspectral instrument is the first of its kind to provide images of land-surface in more than 220 spectral colors. The Hyperion will demonstrate the ability to perform detailed spectral mapping with high radiometric accuracy. In the future, an operational version of the Hyperion will allow complex land ecosystems to be imaged and accurately classified. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) instrument yields almost four times better performance at only one-fourth the cost and weight of the Landsat ETM+. Finally the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array/Atmospheric Corrector (LEISA/AC) is an infrared camera, which can be used to remove the effects of the atmosphere from surface pictures obtained by instruments such as the ALI on EO-1 and Landsat. This instrument will provide scientific return both in terms of improved imagery and hyperspectral sensing capabilities. It will also test a number of new technologies. Because the AC is small and adaptable to different spacecraft configurations, it is a bolt-on instrument, which can be attached to any future Earth imaging spacecraft. The three advanced imaging instruments will lead to a new generation of lighter weight, higher performance and lower cost Landsat-type Earth surface imaging instruments.

The future of Earth science measurements requires that spacecraft have even greater capabilities packaged in more compact and lower cost spacecraft. To this end, EO-1 tests, for the first time, five new technologies that will enable new or more cost-effective approaches to conducting science missions in the 21st Century. These are: the X-band Phased Array Antenna, used for downlinking data gathered by the EO-1 science instruments; Enhanced Formation Flying, an autonomous, onboard, relative navigation and formation flying control; the Pulse Plasma Thruster, used for fine attitude precision control; the Lightweight Flexible Solar Array, an advanced photo-voltaic solar array which utilizes a lightweight solar blanket and shockless, shapedhinge deployment mechanism to achieve two to three times the specific power over conventional solar arrays; and the Carbon-Carbon Radiator, which has superior thermal radiating properties over conventional materials. Future NASA spacecraft will be an order of magnitude smaller and lighter than current versions, and the EO-1 Mission provides the on-orbit demonstration and validation of several technologies to get us there.