Volume 13, Number 3, September 1997
By Joseph King and Carolyn Ng

In July 1997 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Gregory Hunolt for the Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project Office at Goddard and this author for NSSDC. This MOU officially transferred ownership of the legacy Earth science data tapes and other media in NSSDC's archives to ESDIS. NSSDC will continue to hold physically and manage these data for ESDIS until ESDIS designates the final disposition of each such data set. ESDIS will determine the level of support for these data.

From 1960 to the early 1990s, before the Earth Observing System (EOS) Data and Information System (EOSDIS) was created, NSSDC had accumulated many tens of thousands of tapes of Earth science data from the Synchronous Meteorological Satellite (SMS), the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), Nimbus, and other missions. In recent years about 60 distinct data sets representing most of the still-in-demand data have been gradually sent to the various Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) of the EOSDIS. This transition is a continuing process.

ESDIS has solicited from the Earth science community suggestions on the disposition of the remaining Earth science data sets still resident in the NSSDC archives, approximately 100 each of digital and analog (film) data sets. As a new thrust in this effort, NSSDC is currently organizing its paper and microfilmed documentation of these data sets so that a CD-ROM of scanned images of the documentation may be created and distributed by ESDIS to its scientific advisers for data disposition suggestions. This NSSDC effort is being underwritten by ESDIS.

Further details on the Earth science data sets still in the NSSDC archives but newly owned by ESDIS may be obtained from Gregory Hunolt at or from Carolyn Ng at NSSDC (

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Miranda Beall,, (301) 286-0162
Hughes STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.

Erin D. Gardner,, (301) 286-0163
Hughes STX, Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, U.S.A.

NASA home page GSFC home page GSFC organizational page

Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 22 OCT 1997 [EDG]