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Common Instrument Interface

The Common Instrument Interface (CII) Study Activity supports Earth Science Directorate (ESD) by identifying a common set of Earth Science instrument-to-spacecraft interface guidelines that will improve the likelihood that these instruments become hosted payloads on hosted payload opportunities. CII works with industry, academia, and other government agencies to analyze the interface trade space, which helps ESD understand the key drivers in the matching process.


Operating Earth missions actively make measurements and send raw data to operation centers that process the data and make them available for archive and distribution at Earth science data centers. Missions are designed to operate for a lifetime on orbit ranging from one to several years. This defines the primary operational phase of the mission.


These missions explored the boundaries of our understanding of the complex, dynamic system we call the Earth.  They have been retired, but are not forgotten.  We hope they inspire the next generation of explorers by providing opportunities for learners of all ages to discover the exciting past efforts by NASA in its research.

Under Study

Missions begin with a study phase during which the key science objectives of the mission are identified, and designs for spacecraft and instruments are analyzed. Study teams are constituted to define measurement and mission elements and deliver achievable objectives with a specific cost and scope. Study teams are managed by a Project scientist, a Program Executive at NASA Headquarters, and a Program office.


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