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Aura Webcast: Introduction and Mission Overview
 
Dr. Ghassem Asrar: Hi, I'm Ghassem Asrar, NASA's associate administrator of the Office of Earth Sciences. Thanks for tuning in to our webcast. I wanted to take a minute to tell you a little bit about the Aura mission, an important mission to better understand and protect the very air we breathe.

The atmosphere does a lot of things for life on Earth. It is the air we breathe, it is the shield that protects us from the radiation of space, so it is important we know exactly what kind of effect we're having on it. Humans can create damage, but we can also fix it. So we have a big responsibility.

Aura is going to be the tool we use to monitor the health of the atmosphere, and we have never had a satellite that could give us such a detailed picture. Aura has three main objectives: To look at the depletion of the ozone layer, to monitor global air quality, and to determine how the global climate is changing.

When we combine those three science goals, we get a comprehensive look at the atmosphere's chemistry, and we can decide what we, as humans, need to do to protect our planet and its future.

As we move forward to return to the Moon and to explore Mars and beyond, it will also be essential to use our understanding of our very own planet Earth to give us insight into worlds beyond our own.

With years of research and planning and our strong international partnerships, we look to Aura to provide some of that critical insight needed to help advance the Vision for Space Exploration.

Thanks for tuning in today and I hope you enjoy the Aura webcast.

Host Tiffany Nail: A big hello to everyone out there in cyberspace, thanks for joining us. You're logged-on and tuned-in to NASA Direct's exciting pre-launch coverage of Aura, a mission to understand and protect the air we breathe.

We are LIVE at Vandenberg AFB in beautiful California! And, we're just under three days from launch.

You are about to get an inside look at the amazing Aura mission and find out what exciting things Aura will soon discover. Our guests today include some of the major players responsible for the Aura mission.

Coming up, the chief scientist for the Aura mission and the Aura Program Executive will answer some of your questions live! And later, we'll give away prizes to some of our cyber-viewers. Is your name on the list? Plus, what will happen once Aura gets into space? You're about to find out.