Saturday, August 17, 2013

"We're the caretakers of this planet," says Research Engineer

NASA is getting ready to turn its scientific instruments toward our home planet with a trio of Earth-observing missions set to launch in 2014.

The three missions will allow scientists to measure water, wind and carbon dioxide with greater precision, and to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and climate change projections.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said that understanding the ramifications of rising temperatures on Earth is an important priority for the space agency, which is most famous for studying outer space. Research on climate change “will inevitably be part of any agency in the federal government,” he said during a visit to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Tuesday....

...SMAP project system engineer Shawn Goodman said he is already looking forward to NASA’s Year of Earth missions.

“We’re the caretakers of this planet,” he said. “I can’t imagine anything more important for us to understand.”

Dragana Perkovic-Martin, RapidScat’s radar performance engineer, agreed that many people, not just scientists, could benefit from the Earth observation data.

“We as a population get affected by everything that we observe,” she said. “This is about us trying to help the population and where they really live.”

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