Triana, the first deep space
Earth-observing mission, will provide a continuous view of the entire
sunlit face of the rotating Earth.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography
scientists and leaders are currently working in collaboration with
NASA officials to investigate opportunities to launch the Triana

In 2000, a Congressionally mandated
review by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) resulted in a highly
favorable report on Triana. The report stated that the Triana mission
will complement and enhance data from other missions now in operation
or in development because of the unique character of the measurements
obtainable at the L1 Lagrangian point (nearly one and a half million
kilometers between the Sun and Earth), which allows continuous
imaging of the full sunlit disk of Earth and monitoring of the solar
environment upstream from Earth. Furthermore, the report noted, such
observations from L1 should provide a unique perspective to develop
new databases and validate and augment existing and planned global
and local interplanetary databases.

The report also stated that Triana
is an exploratory mission that may open up the use of deep-space
observation points such as L1 for Earth science. The NAS task group
believes that "the potential impact is sufficiently valuable to
Earth science that such a mission might well have been viewed as an
earlier NASA priority had adequate technology been available at
reasonable cost."

Triana also is a vital instrument
in our ability to detect critical space weather readings. As noted in
the NAS report, "Triana will also augment existing sun-viewing
satellites at L1. (The Triana) Plasma-Mag (instruments) will enhance
the time resolution and spatial coverage of solar wind data from Wind
and the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE). It will complement, and
may succeed, ACE in operational utility."

The four-year-old ACE, a research
satellite positioned at the L1 point between the Sun and Earth, has
been a major success, allowing government agencies responsible for
space weather forecasting to provide reliable alerts and warnings one
hour in advance of approaching large solar storms.

ACE, however, is a one-time
research vehicle and this summer will enter the last year of its
original five-year design life. As stated in the NAS report:
“… If the ACE spacecraft is lost or its plasma or magnetometer
instrument fails, then Triana, as the only upstream monitor of solar
wind and interplanetary magnetic fields, could be critical to the
Space Environment Center’s mission."

"Triana has the powerful
endorsement of the National Academy of Sciences and a practically
completed spacecraft with instruments that have been integrated,
tested, and calibrated," said Francisco P.J.Valero, the Triana
principal investigator. "We have spent nearly $100 million and
Triana could be finished and ready to go on short notice. In my view,
not to proceed at this point would be a major, embarrassing waste of
scientific talent and taxpayer’s money. We must push

"Our first and foremost goal
for the Triana spacecraft is getting it launched as soon as
possible," said Charles Kennel, director of Scripps Institution
of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. "The
Triana spacecraft is a vital new research tool, so the sooner it is
launched the sooner it will begin to provide new data about Earth and
its environment with unprecedented precision."

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California,
San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers
for global science research and graduate training in the world. The
National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality
among oceanography programs nationwide. The scientific scope of the
institution has grown since its founding in 1903 to include
biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical, and
atmospheric studies of the earth as a system.  More than 300
research programs are under way today in a wide range of scientific
areas. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual
expenditures of approximately $140 million, from federal, state, and
private sources. Scripps operates the largest U.S. academic fleet
with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for
worldwide exploration.