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Charged with “assessing alternatives for the implementation of the Earth Observing System,” a NASA-appointed panel of scientists and engineers began their investigation of the multibillion dollar program last month with a meeting at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Earth Observing System (EOS) Engineering Review Advisory Committee, chaired by Edward A. Frieman, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, heard from Administration officials, NASA managers, and EOS project personnel on May 30–31.

The committee was created at the request of the Bush administration to evaluate NASA's current plans for the series of satellites, EOS-A and EOS-B, scheduled to begin operation in 1998. The committee's primary emphasis is to review the engineering aspects of the program, including platform size, instrument configuration, and launch options. A final report is expected by September 30.