ATLAS Space Shuttle studies Earth's atmosphere and solar input



A shuttle-based component of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS), completed its second mission making detailed measurements of Earth's middle atmosphere and solar input in April 1993. ATLAS-1 was successfully conducted in spring 1992. In addition to the standard payload, this mission carried instruments that studied the upper atmosphere, magnetosphere, space plasma physics, and ultraviolet astronomy.

The ATLAS-1 mission obtained a large database on the middle and upper atmosphere, and access to much of the data is available through the investigator teams. The mission procured the first space-based measurements of OH in the atmosphere; compared middle atmosphere trace species between 1985 and 1992; and tested critical ionization velocity theory.