||The ATLAS (Atmospheric Laboratory for Application and Science) missions were part of NASA's ESE (Earth Science Enterprise) program, formerly called MTPE (Mission to Planet Earth). The ATLAS payloads, mounted on Spacelab pallets in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle, investigated specifically how Earth's atmosphere and climate are affected by the sun and by the products of industrial complexes and agricultural activities.
Experiments flown on the three ATLAS missions gathered data throughout the sun's 11-year activity cycle. There is a "core" of instruments which was the same on all ATLAS missions, and additional instruments unique to several of the Shuttle flights. An important goal of the ATLAS program is to provide measurements that relate to and coincide with other instruments that are flying on other satellites. There is a coordinated underflight program for correlative measurements such as: UARS, NOAA-POES, ERBS, EURECA, TOMS (on Nimbus-7 and Meteor-3-6).