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What is 'Triana'?


Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) (formerly known as Triana, unofficially known as GoreSat[3]) is a NOAA Earth observation and space weather satellite launched by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle on 11 February 2015 from Cape Canaveral.[4]

It was originally developed as a NASA satellite proposed in 1998 by then-Vice President Al Gore for the purpose of Earth observation. It is intended to be positioned at the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point, 1,500,000 km (930,000 mi) from Earth, to monitor variable solar wind condition, provide early warning of approaching coronal mass ejections and observe phenomena on Earth including changes in ozone, aerosols, dust and volcanic ash, cloud height, vegetation cover and climate. At this location it will have a continuous view of the Sun and the sunlit side of the Earth. The satellite is planned to orbit the Sun-Earth L1 point in a six-month period, with a spacecraft-Earth-Sun angle varying from 4 to 15 degrees.[5] It will take full-Earth pictures about every two hours and be able to process them faster than other Earth observation satellites.[6]

DSCOVR has an expected arrival at L1 around the beginning of June 2015.[7]

Originally known as Triana, named after Rodrigo de Triana, the first of Columbus's crew to sight land in the Americas, the satellite's original purpose was to provide a near-continuous view of the entire Earth and make that live image available via the Internet. Gore hoped not only to advance science with these images, but also to raise awareness of the Earth itself, updating the influential Blue Marble photograph taken by Apollo 17.[8] In addition to an imaging camera, a radiometer would take the first direct measurements of how much sunlight is reflected and emitted from the whole Earth (albedo). This data could constitute a barometer for the process of global warming. The scientific goals expanded to measure the amount of solar energy reaching Earth, cloud patterns, weather systems, monitor the health of Earth's vegetation, and track the amount of UV light reaching the surface through the ozone layer.

In 1999, NASA's Inspector General reported that "the basic concept of the Triana mission was not peer reviewed", and "Triana's added science may not represent the best expenditure of NASA's limited science funding."[9] The Bush Administration put the project on hold shortly after George W. Bush's inauguration.[10] Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences whether the project was worthwhile.[when?] The resulting report stated that the mission was "strong and scientifically vital."[11]

Triana was removed from its original launch opportunity on STS-107 (the ill-fated Columbia mission in 2003). The $100 million satellite remained in storage for the duration of the Bush administration. In November 2008 the satellite was removed from storage and began recertification for a possible launch on board a Delta II or a Falcon 9.[12][13] Al Gore used part of his book Our Choice (2009) as an attempt to revive debate on the DSCOVR payload. The book mentions legislative efforts by Senators Barbara Mikulski and Bill Nelson to get the satellite launched.[14] NASA renamed the satellite Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), in an attempt to regain support for the project. In February 2011, the Obama administration attempted to secure funding to re-purpose the DSCOVR spacecraft as a solar observatory to replace the aging Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft.[15]

In September 2013 NASA cleared DSCOVR to proceed to the implementation phase targeting an early 2015 launch,[16] which had been announced in December 2012 as launching on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.[17] NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is providing management and systems engineering to the mission.


(MODS - being that this is from wikipedia and is already publicly owned info, I figured there would be no intellectual property or copyright issues with posting more than 4 paragraphs. If I need to cut it down, just let me know and I'll modify the OP)
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