The global geospace science program and its investigations

M. H. Acuna, K. W. Ogilvie, D. N. Baker, S. A. Curtis, D. H. Fairfield and W. H. Mish

Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771


The detailed study of the solar-terrestrial energy chain will be greatly enhanced with the launch and simultaneous operation of several spacecraft during the current decade. These programs are being coordinated in the United States under the umbrella of the International Solar Terrestrial Physics Program (ISTP) and include fundamental contributions from Japan (GEOTAIL Program) and Europe (SOHO and CLUSTER Programs). The principal United States contribution to this effort is the Global Geospace Science Program (GGS) described in this overview paper. Two spacecraft, WIND and POLAR, carrying an advanced complement of field, particle, and imaging instruments, will conduct investigations of several key regions of 'geospace'. This paper provides a general overview of the science objectives of the missions, the spacecraft orbits and the ground elements that have been developed to process and analyze the instrument observations.

Space Science Reviews, 71, 5-21, 1995