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NASA Hosts Media Briefing to Announce New Earth-Observing Role for International Space Station

NASA opens a new era this month in its exploration of our home planet with the launch of the first in a series of Earth science instruments to the International Space Station. A media briefing on this addition to NASA’s Earth-observing program will air at 1 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 8, on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The first Earth-observing instrument to be mounted on the exterior of the space station will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on the next SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services flight. ISS-RapidScat will monitor ocean winds for climate research, weather predictions and hurricane monitoring from the space station’s unique vantage point.

The second instrument is the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), a laser instrument that will measure clouds and the location and distribution of pollution, dust, smoke, and other particulates in the atmosphere. CATS will follow ISS-RapidScat on the fifth SpaceX space station resupply flight.

The briefing will take place in the NASA TV studio at the agency’s Headquarters, located at 300 E Street SW in Washington. The briefing panelists are:

— Julie Robinson, ISS Program chief scientist, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston
— Steve Volz, associate director for flight programs in the Earth Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington
— Melanie Miller, lead SpaceX-4 robotics officer, Johnson
— Ernesto Rodriguez, ISS-RapidScat project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
— Matthew McGill, CATS principal investigator, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Media can ask questions from participating NASA locations or by telephone. To participate by phone, reporters must contact Felicia Chou at 202-358-0257 or to provide their media affiliation no later than 11 a.m. Monday.

There is limited seating in the NASA TV studio for media who would like to attend in person. To arrange access, media must email no later than 9 a.m. Monday.

Media and the public can join the conversation using #EarthRightNow and #ISS, and ask questions using #askNASA.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit:

For more on NASA Earth science launches, research and applications, visit:

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:


Steve Cole / Joshua Buck
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-0918 / 202-358-1100 /