A space shuttle mission scheduled for launch on March 23, 1992, carrying a payload of largely remote-sensing instruments, will constitute an important element of the NASA's Mission to Planet Earth and the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The mission was planned in 1983 and was earlier known as the Earth Observations Mission (EOM), subsequently becoming the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS) in 1986.
The ATLAS-1 flight is intended to be the first in a series of shuttle flights that will monitor the radiant energy output of the Sun, look for potential responses of the Earth's atmosphere to changes in this energy source, and verity global change assessments. Emphasis is on the frequent recalibration opportunities afforded by such a program, which allow transfer of calibrations to other longer-duration orbiting observatories, such as the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration TIROS-N satellites
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