The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS)

Background

The ERBS satellite, was deployed from the Space Shuttle Challenger in October 1984 by NASA Astronaut Sally Ride and later launched by the Shuttle "Challenger" crew into a 57 degree inclination precessing orbit with a period of approximately 72 days. In addition to the ERBE scanning and nonscanning instruments, the satellite also carried the Stratospheric Aerosol Gas Experiment (SAGE II).

The ERBS was the first of three ERBE platforms which would eventually carry the ERBE Instruments. The second ERBE Instrument was aboard the NOAA-9 satellite when it was launched in January of 1985, and the third was aboard the NOAA-10 satellite when it was launched in October of 1986. Although the scanning instruments on board all three ERBE satellites have failed, the nonscanning instruments are all presently functioning.