585 km circular
574 km (356 mi)
582 km (361 mi)
LEO > Low Earth Orbit > Polar Non-Sun-Synchronous
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Following the deployment of the Goddard Space Flight Center's (GSFC) Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) on Sept. 15, 1991, from the Space Shuttle Discovery, scientists have gained a better ... understanding of the energy input, chemistry and dynamics of the upper atmosphere and the coupling between the upper and lower atmosphere. UARS, the first satellite dedicated to studying stratospheric science, focuses on the processes that lead to ozone depletion, complementing and amplifying the measurements of total ozone made by the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) onboard NASA's Nimbus-7 and the Russian Meteor-3 satellites. UARS also measures winds and temperatures in the stratosphere as well as the energy input from the Sun.
Ten UARS instruments have provided the most complete data on upper atmospheric energy inputs, winds, and chemical composition ever gathered. Together, these observations constitute a highly integrated investigation of the nature of the upper atmosphere, and help define the role of the upper atmosphere in climate and climate variability. In its first two weeks of operation, UARS data confirmed the polar ozone-depletion theories by providing three-dimensional maps of ozone and chlorine monoxide near the South Pole during development of the 1991 ozone hole. UARS, developed and managed by GSFC, in Greenbelt, Md., provides information that nations around the world can use to guide decisions on environmental policies, according to scientists.
Moreover, UARS collected data on the chemistry, dynamics, and radiative inputs to the upper atmosphere far beyond its designed lifetime, obtaining over 13 years of observations for many atmospheric constituents, temperature, winds, and external forcings. UARS was decommissioned in 2005. The United Kingdom and Canada both provided instruments for this mission. UARS is the first spacecraft launched as part of NASA's systematic, comprehensive study of the Earth system.
ISAMS (Improved Stratospheric and Mesospheric Sounder)
MLS (Microwave Limb Sounder)
HALOE (Halogen Occultation Experiment)
HRDI (High Resolution Doppler Imager)
WIND II (Wind Imaging Interferometer)
SOLSTICE (Solar-stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment)
SUSIM (Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor)
PEM (Particle Environment Monitor)
ACRIM II (Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor)
CLAES (Cryogenic Limb Array Etalon Spectrometer)
[Summary provided by NASA]
Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center, USA
NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center