A series of Space Shuttle-Spacelab missions, designated the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS), is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. The series, originally planned to ... acquire data throughout the Sun's 11-year active cycle, investigated how Earth's atmosphere and climate are affected by the Sun, and by the products of industrial complexes and agricultural activities. ATLAS 1, the first spacecraft in this series conducted 14 investigations in atmospheric science, solar physics, space plasma physics, and astrophysics.
The 14 ATLAS 1 experiments included:
(1) Atmospheric Lyman-Alpha Emissions (ALAE)
(2) Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS)
(3) Grille Spectrometer (GRILLE)
(4) Imaging Spectrometric Observatory (ISO)
(5) Millimeter-wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS)
(6) Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Spectrometer (SSBUV-4) -
technically, this instrument was seperate from the ATLAS payload and
was a co-manifested payload
(7) Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM)
(8) Solar Spectrum Measurement (SOLSPEC)
(9) Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM)
(10) Measurement of the Solar Constant (SOLCON)
(11) Atmospheric Emissions Photometric Imaging (AEPI)
(12) Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators (SEPAC)
(13) Energetic Neutral Atom Precipitation (ENAP). ENAP was not a
seperate instrument but used the ISO instrument measurements
(14) Far Ultraviolet Space Telescope (FAUST)
ATLAS 2 was flown on the STS-56 in April 1993 and consisted of seven of the ATLAS 1 instruments: ATMOS, MAS, SSBUV-5, ACRIM, SOLSPEC, SUSIM, AND SOLCON.
ATLAS 3 was flown on the STS-66 in November 1993 and consisted of the same instruments as ATLAS 2.
These investigations studied the chemical makeup of the atmosphere between approximately 15 and 600 kilometers (8.3 to 330 miles) above the Earth's surface, measured the total energy contained in sunlight and energy variations, investigated how Earth's electric and magnetic fields and atmosphere influence each other, and examined sources of ultraviolet light in the Universe. The instruments were mounted on two Spacelab pallets in the Shuttle payload bay. The Shuttle's changing orientation to Earth placed the experiments in advantageous orbiting locations, to observe the atmosphere, the Sun, and astronomical targets. Specifically, the orbiter orientation was either inertially fixed so that selected instruments were pointed at the sun, or nadir pointed for observations of the Earth's atmosphere. Crew members were in consultation with the investigators while controlling and monitoring the experiments. The atmospheric and solar instruments provided correlative measurements with the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS).