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Communications Specialist

Laura Faye Tenenbaum is a science communicator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and teaches oceanography at Glendale Community College.

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Earth gets ready for its close-up
NASA sets sights on our home planet
January 22, 2014
18:58 PST
Earth gets ready for its close-up

Five NASA Earth missions will be launched into space in the same year. Two of the satellites will ride atop a Delta II rocket similar to the one shown here at Cape Canaveral launch pad.
Image credit: NASA/Jerry Cannon, Robert Murray

Welcome to the first installment of Earth Right Now, a new blog focused on NASA's biggest campaign to study our home planet in over a decade.

In fact, this year holds so much new Earth science that our goal right now at NASA is to tell everyone on Earth about Earth.

The main reason we’re so excited to share our stories is that in addition to the 16 Earth science research spacecraft already flying, NASA is preparing to launch another five—yes that’s five—new Earth missions in 2014.

First in the lineup is a satellite that will measure rain and snow worldwide every three hours as well as improve weather forecasting.  This puppy is set to launch in February 2014 and we plan to have a lot to say about it right here. Other missions coming this year will give us high-quality measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide, track Earth's water to monitor floods and drought, measure ocean winds, clouds, and small particles, track storms and hurricanes over the ocean, and use three-wavelength lasers to examine small particles from volcanoes, air pollution, dust, and smoke. Two of these Earth science missions will be sent to the International Space Station.

Is that all?  Not yet. This year NASA is also sponsoring 12 research airplanes that will study the polar ice sheets, urban air pollution, hurricanes, ecosystem health and more over the United States, Central and South America, Antarctica, and the Arctic Circle.

Throughout this big year of NASA going to planet Earth, this blog will be the place to find the inside scoop. Join me as I walk the hallways and talk to scientists, engineers, and other random visionaries about the five new missions plus the 12 research aircraft and more from an up close and personal angle. Witness the quirks, the personal moments and the sometimes amazing things we do here at NASA.  Welcome to 2014, welcome to this new blog, and welcome to Earth Right Now.

I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.


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