The goal for the Administration’s Earth Science program shall be to pursue a program of Earth observations, research, and applications activities to better understand the Earth, how it supports life, and how human activities affect its ability to do so in the future. In pursuit of this goal, the Administration’s Earth Science program shall ensure that securing practical benefits for society will be an important measure of its success in addition to securing new knowledge about the Earth system and climate change. In further pursuit of this goal, the Administration shall, together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other relevant agencies, provide United States leadership in developing and carrying out a cooperative international Earth observations-based research program.
51 U.S. Code § 60501 - Goal
Pub. L. 102–588, title I, § 102(g), Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5111, directed the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to carry out an Earth Observing System program addressing highest priority international climate change research goals; within 180 days after Nov. 4, 1992, submit to Congress a plan to ensure that the highest priority measurements were maintained on schedule to the greatest extent practicable while lower priority measurements were deferred or deleted; and within 90 days after Nov. 4, 1992, submit to Congress a Development Plan.