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M. Susan Moran, Bradley Doorn, Vanessa Escobar, and Molly E. Brown

Abstract

The National Research Council (NRC) recently highlighted the dual role of NASA to support both science and applications in planning Earth observations. This article reports the efforts of the NASA Applied Sciences Program and NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission to integrate applications with science and engineering in prelaunch planning. The SMAP Early Adopter program supported the prelaunch applied research that comprises the SMAP Special Collection of the Journal of Hydrometeorology. This research, in turn, has resulted in unprecedented prelaunch preparation for SMAP applications and critical feedback to the mission to improve product specifications and distribution for postlaunch applications. These efforts have been a learning experience that should provide direction for upcoming missions and set some context for the next NRC decadal survey.

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