European Space Agency Calls for Climate Change Study Ideas

PARIS, Sept. 22 (UPI) — The European Space Agency says it will soon issue a call for suggestions for climate change studies to be conducted from the International Space Station.

ESA officials say they plan to use the space station as a platform to conduct research into global climate change. The ISS is a permanently manned orbital platform with a permanent crew of six. Its assembly will be completed next year, providing a multipurpose research facility in low orbit until 2015 and possibly beyond.

“Europe’s scientific community is already using the ISS in a multitude of areas such as life and microgravity sciences, and now Earth science and climate change initiatives are to be considered too,” the ESA said in a statement. “Potentially, the ISS can be used as an observation platform for studies into global change, supplementing observations from dedicated satellites.”

The space agency says it plans to issue a “Call for Ideas” next month to gauge the interest in deploying remote-sensing instruments for global change studies on the ISS. Depending on the level of interest and the suitability of the research proposals, ESA officials said the call might be followed by a specific “Announcement of Opportunity” for instruments or multi-user payloads.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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