The Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) mission successfully conducted its Confirmation Review over the days of February 25-27, 1997. IMAGE is the first of the new series of the mid-sized explorer project called Medium-Class Explorers (MIDEX) and is currently scheduled for launch in January 2000. Its capped MO&DA budget has forced its mission team to examine and adopt operations concepts that are atypical of missions at Goddard Space Flight Center. The most critical concept is the consolidation of mission operations and science operations into a single facility, called the Science and Mission Operations Center (SMOC). Co-locating all of the operations functions minimizes the number of interfaces within the system and allows the consolidation and minimization of operations staff. Because no proprietary data period exists for any IMAGE data product, no redundant, intermediate data handling facility is required to protect the data. Instead, these products will be immediately forwarded to the NSSDC, their ultimate destination, for immediate public display and distribution. Development of the IMAGE ground system is being led by this author, of the Space Physics Data Facility within the Space Science Data Operations Office.
Erin D. Gardner, email@example.com, (301) 286-0163
Hughes STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.