WASHINGTON — During a visit to South America, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Thursday signed two cooperative Earth science agreements with Agencia Espacial Brasileira (AEB), NASA’s counterpart space agency in Brazil.
One agreement formalizes NASA-AEB scientific collaboration on the Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission, while the other extends an agreement for the Ozone Cooperation Mission.
“Earth observation from space is vital to understanding our planet,” Bolden said. “The technically skilled and dedicated researchers in Brazil are excellent partners for NASA, and we look forward to many more years of successful international cooperation in space-based Earth science.”
GPM is an Earth science mission led by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It will provide advanced information on rain and snow characteristics, as well as detailed 3-D views of precipitation structure. NASA and AEB will study data distribution and the use of GPM’s products in Brazil, coordinate cooperative research projects, and support the exchange of scientific and engineering personnel.
The Ozone Cooperation Mission uses balloon-borne instruments launched from Maxaranguape, Brazil, to study concentrations of various atmospheric constituents. Results from the mission will contribute to the understanding of the Earth’s ozone layer, its generation and depletion. They also will help calibrate and verify satellite remote sensors. NASA and AEB will share equipment, data, training and technical expertise.
During his week-long visit to South America, Bolden is meeting with senior government officials in Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica, discussing potential cooperation between NASA and regional space agencies. This is the first visit of a NASA administrator to the region in nearly eight years. It is a testament to the increasingly strong capabilities of NASA’s partners in these countries.