WHAT:       Mission and program briefing of the new, space-based instrument TEMPO, which will soon deliver detailed data and analysis of air pollution over greater North America.

WHEN:       Tuesday, March 14

                  8:30 a.m.: coffee and check-in

                  9 a.m.: TEMPO program briefing and media Q&A


WHERE:     Smithsonian’s National Air and Space MuseumSixth Street and Independence Avenue (Independence Avenue entrance)

                  Washington, D.C.


WHO:         Christopher Browne, John and Adrienne Mars Director, National Air and Space Museum

                  Ellen Stofan, Under Secretary for Science and Research, Smithsonian Institution

                  Caroline Nowlan, atmospheric physicist, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

                  Erika Wright, education specialist, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

                  Barry Lefer, tropospheric composition program manager, NASA

                  Laura Judd, applied sciences health and air quality associate program manager, NASA


TEMPO, short for Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution, is the brainchild of Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) scientists. TEMPO will be the first space-based instrument to observe major air pollutants hourly in high-spatial resolution—down to four square miles—in a region that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Canadian oil sands to below Mexico City.

Launching aboard the Intelsat 40E satellite as early as April, TEMPO will observe major air pollutants in near real time, allowing scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and NASA to analyze and report emissions information faster and with more detail than ever before to the American public and those in Canada and Mexico as well.

The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace and integrated onto Intelsat 40E by Maxar.

Experts from NASA, SAO, Intelsat, Ball Aerospace and Maxar will be in attendance to answer media questions. SAO is part of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. 

RSVP to Alison Mitchell at [email protected] or 202-633-2376 or Kevin Lamparter at [email protected] or 202-633-2347. Reporters who are unable to join in person can join via teleconference by contacting [email protected] no later than one hour prior to the start of the event. For TEMPO images and illustrations, contact [email protected].

This event will be live streamed to NASA TV and the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian’sFacebook and YouTube channels.


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About the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian is a collaboration between Harvard and the Smithsonian designed to ask—and ultimately answer—humanity's greatest unresolved questions about the nature of the universe. The Center for Astrophysics is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with research facilities across the U.S. and around the world.