Sep. 24, 1999 WASHINGTON -- Representatives of NASA, the American Geophysical Union, and the University of Montana will converge on Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Missouri Monday (September 27) to present a computer and special software that will enable faculty and students to monitor data from a soon-to-be-launched satellite. They will provide science teacher Kelly Harfst and other faculty members a three hour briefing on the equipment, in anticipation of the upcoming launch of the satellite, named Terra. Brentwood High School is receiving this computer and software package thanks to 1999 graduate Sasha Jones, who won a joint NASA-AGU essay contest to name the satellite. She chose Terra, the Greek name for Earth, because the satellite is the first in a new series that will intensively monitor Earth's environment. Terra's orbit will take it across the Equator at 10:30 A.M. local time on each pass.
The new group of satellites is known collectively as EOS, for Earth Observing System. Together, they will study Earth as an integrated system, involving atmosphere, oceans, forests, fresh water, and the land itself. NASA hopes the knowledge developed by Terra and the other satellites in the EOS project will help improve the quality of life on Earth.
Jones, who is starting her freshman year at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, won, in addition to the computer and software for her school, a trip for herself and her parents to watch Terra's launch. It is scheduled for sometime after November 18 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, having been delayed due to problems with the launch vehicle. Jones will attend the briefing.
The scientists conducting the briefing at Brentwood High School will be David Herring of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Beltsville, Md., and Dr. John Kuglin, who heads the EOS Education Project at the University of Montana in Missoula. AGU, co-sponsor of the contest, will be represented by Dr. Frank Ireton, manager of education programs. AGU is an international organization of 35,000 scientists studying the Earth and space.
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