Solar System Chatter

Al Gore’s Satellite Gets Into Position

The Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, reached its destination orbit nearly one million miles from Earth, at Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1, or L1 (see image), on June 7. From this vantage point, the spacecraft can observe the entire disk of the Earth, and monitor changes in solar weather. DSCOVR used to be named Triana, a mission dreamed up to study Earth’s changing climate by then-Vice President Al Gore in 1997. Too hot a political potato at the time, Triana was shelved by the incoming President George W. Bush, but resurrected in 2011 as a NOAA space weather mission to replace the aging ACE mission. Read more about DSCOVR’s long journey to space in Al Gore’s Satellite.

Heather Goss is the Departments Editor at Air & Space.

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