As the cost of satellite missions grow, government agencies are working to increase the relevance and usefulness of the Earth science data that they produce. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) early adopter program seeks to formalize partnerships with users of data early within the satellite planning process to ensure the greatest value of the mission. Scientists who are designing the satellite observing system, those who are developing mission data products, and the community who will use them need to work together to determine how satellite data can better inform decision making. NASA is working to initiate engagement with data users much earlier in the satellite program life so that the user needs can be prioritized, continue to engage with users throughout the development cycle, and then include analysis on societal impact after nominal mission life. The Early Adopter Program allows for broad and early engagement with decision makers by encouraging individuals and institutions with clear uses of data to engage with the mission. Early adopters facilitate feedback on mission products during pre-launch
and accelerate the utilization of these products post-launch
. This paper provides background and detail on how NASA is working to engage with early adopters, describes the partnership between early adopters and NASA missions, and connects the program to improved societal impacts of its satellite missions.
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