The Magnetic Field Satellite (Magsat) will be launched on or about October 18 of this year. Magsat is a satellite designed to measure the near-earth magnetic field on a global basis and, with improved resolution, should overcome shortcomings of earlier satellites such as the NASA Polar Orbiting Geophysical Observatory satellites that obtained data on the scalar magnetic field from October, 1965 through June, 1971.
This NASA satellite is to obtain data for a large analytical program involving outside investigator groups. Thirty two investigations, involving geophysics, geology, field modeling, marine studies, magnetosphere/ionosphere, and core/mantle studies are being supported. These groups are from the U.S. and 10 foreign nations. The objectives of the Magsat mission are to obtain an accurate, up-to-date Quantitative description of the earth's main magnetic field; provide data and a worldwide magnetic field model to update and refine magnetic charts and maps; compile global scalar and vector crustal magnetic anomaly maps (the spacial resolution goal for the anomaly map is 300 km); and interpret the crustal anomaly map, in conjunction with correlative data, in terms of geologic and geophysical models of the earth's crust, thus providing information useful in the assessment of natural resources.