Environmental scientists collect data from all over the Earth’s surface. This raw data is analyzed to obtain a global view of Earth’s environment on a daily, seasonal, annual, and long-term basis. A common data collection technique is the use of Earth-based probes. Probes are placed at many different locations on Earth’s surface to measure important environmental conditions such as ocean temperatures, currents, and vegetation, as well as land vegetation, troposphere temperatures, and ground moisture.
The information collected by these probes is transmitted to a low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellite. The LEO satellite then transmits the probe information to ground-based stations.
In the summer of the year 2137, the LEO satellite collecting probe data has malfunctioned and must be replaced. The elite ERS-I Emergency Response Squad composed of 8 teams trained in satellite design and environmental survey has been called in. One half of the ERS-I Crew has been stationed on a LEO Spacelab and is working diligently to construct a new satellite to deploy into orbit for data collection. Since the Earth-based probes are designed to transmit data on a regular basis to the LEO satellite, they contain very little data storage capacity. While the ERS-I Satellite Team is constructing the new satellite, the data collection teams (GEOsphere, HYDROsphere, ATMosphere, BIOsphere, and ECOsphere) must collect and transmit to Mission Control data from areas near the probes.
The other half of the ERS-I crew has been stationed on Earth in the Ops Center of Mission Control. These team members analyze the probe data and compare it to historical data in order to correlate relationships. Additionally, Mission Control, along with their Spacelab teammates, examine sensor data for environmental conditions which might pose a threat to planet Earth and its inhabitants.
Transmission of data and information occurs with the aid of two teams, COM (COMmunication) and DAX (Data Acquisition Examination). DAX has the additional duty of conducting research to aid the investigation of the data collection teams.
Once the LEO satellite is constructed and deployed, it can resume the job of data collection and transmission. The ERS-I Emergency Response Squad can return to Earth with a greater knowledge about their home planet and a sense of accomplishment, having completed a successful mission.