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Missions

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (Space Act) established NASA as an aerospace research and development agency that sponsors and conducts flight missions to obtain data in furtherance of its objectives. In NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD), flight missions range from suborbital projects—including balloons, sounding rockets, and airplanes—to interplanetary probes and flagship observatories. All investigations and missions selected and flown must respond to Agency goals and strategic objectives.

Mission opportunities are open to all proposers, within fixed rules, via public announcement, and selections are based primarily on scientific and technical merit as evaluated by independent peer review. Foreign partners are frequent and valued participants in joint missions. The partnerships are generally conducted on a cooperative, no-exchange-of-funds basis. NASA also works closely with a number of other Federal agencies to implement and support our flight missions. To learn more about mission planning and development, see section 3.3 of the Science Plan for NASA's Science Mission Directorate 2007 - 2016 (PDF 5.1 MB).

This page provides access to all SMD missions, with several options for viewing. Click on the column headers below to change your view. The "All" tab will provide you with a complete listing that can be sorted to suit your interests.

*Sort missions by clicking the column headers.

DivisionNameLaunch DatePhase
Heliophysics ACE
Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) observes particles of solar, interplanetary, interstellar, and galactic origins, spanning the energy range from solar wind ions to galactic cosmic ray nuclei. This mission is part of SMD's Explorers Program. This mission is part of SMD's ...
19970825 August 25, 1997 3Operating
Earth ACRIMSAT
ACRIMSAT is the latest in a series of long-term solar-monitoring missions, utilizing the proven Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor III (ACRIM III) instrument. This mission is part of SMD's Earth Systematic Missions program.
19991220 December 20, 1999 3Operating
Earth ADEOS
Advanced Earth Observing Satellite (ADEOS) was the first international space platform dedicated to Earth environmental research developed and managed by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) (The Japanese call her MIDORI).
19960817 August 17, 1996 4Past
Heliophysics AIM
Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) is a mission to determine the causes of the highest altitude clouds in the Earth's atmosphere. The number of clouds in the middle atmosphere (mesosphere) over the Earth's poles has been increasing over ...
20070425 April 25, 2007 3Operating
Earth AirMOSS
North American ecosystems are critical components of the global carbon cycle, exchanging large amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases with the atmosphere. Root-zone soil measurements can be used to better understand these carbon fluxes and their associated uncertainties on ...
20120301 March 2012 3Operating
Earth Aqua
Aqua obtains a set of precise atmosphere and oceans measurements to understand their role in Earth's climate and its variations. Aqua carries six state-of-the-art instruments to observe the Earth's oceans, atmosphere, land, ice and snow covers, and vegetation, providing high ...
20020504 May 04, 2002 3Operating
Earth Aquarius
Aquarius is a focused satellite mission to measure global sea surface salinity (SSS). Its instruments measure changes in SSS equivalent to about a "pinch" (i.e., 1/6 of a teaspoon) of salt in 1 gallon of water. By measuring SSS over ...
20110610 June 10, 2011 3Operating
Astrophysics ASCA
ASCA was the first X-ray astronomy mission to combine imaging capability with a broad pass band, good spectral resolution, and a large effective area. The mission was also the first satellite to use CCDs for X-ray astronomy.
19930220 February 20, 1993 4Past
Astrophysics Astro-H
Astro-H is a powerful orbiting observatory being developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for studying extremely energetic processes in the universe. NASA and the JAXA/Institute of Space and Astronautical Science have teamed up to develop a high resolution ...
20150215 2015 2Development
Astrophysics Astro Observatory (ASTRO 1 & 2)
The "Astro Observatory" was developed as a system of telescopes that could fly multiple times on the space shuttle.
19901202 December 02, 1990 4Past
Earth ATLAS
ATLAS missions were part of Phase I of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, a large-scale, unified study of planet Earth as a single, dynamic system. Throughout the ATLAS series, scientists gathered new information to gain a better understanding of how ...
19920324 March 24, 1992 4Past
Earth ATS
The Applications Technology Satellite series was a set of 6 NASA spacecraft created to explore & flight test new technologies and techniques for communications, meteorological and navigation satellites.
19661207 December 07, 1966 4Past
Earth ATTREX
Stratospheric water vapor has large impacts on the earth’s climate and energy budget. Future changes in stratospheric humidity and ozone concentration in response to changing climate are significant climate feedbacks.
20111201 December 2011 3Operating
Earth Aura
The Aura satellite hosts a suite of scientific instruments designed to make the most comprehensive measurements ever undertaken of atmospheric trace gases. Aura's objective is to study the chemistry and dynamics of the Earth's atmosphere with emphasis on the upper ...
20040715 July 15, 2004 3Operating
Heliophysics BARREL
The Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses mission is a balloon-based Mission of Opportunity to augment the measurements of NASA's RBSP spacecraft. This mission is part of SMD's LWS program.
2Development
Astrophysics BBXRT
The Broad Band X-ray Telescope (BBXRT) was the first focusing X-ray telescope to operate over a broad energy range (0.3-12 keV) with moderate energy resolution. BBXRT was flown on the space shuttle Columbia (STS-35) on December 2-11, 1990, as part ...
19901202 December 02, 1990 4Past
Earth CALIPSO
The CALIPSO satellite was developed to help scientists answer significant questions and provide new information about the effects of clouds and aerosols (airborne particles) on changes in the Earth's climate. Understanding these components will provide the international science community with ...
20060428 April 28, 2006 3Operating
Earth CARVE
The carbon budget of Arctic ecosystems is not known with confidence since fundamental elements of the complex Arctic biological-climatologic-hydrologic system are poorly quantified. Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) will collect detailed measurements of important greenhouse gases on local ...
20120301 2012 3Operating
Planets Cassini
The Cassini Mission is in the midst of a detailed study of Saturn, its rings, its magnetosphere, its icy satellites, and its moon Titan. Cassini also delivered a probe (called Huygens, provided by the European Space Agency) to Titan, and ...
19971015 October 15, 1997 3Operating
Astrophysics CGRO
Compton Gamma Ray Observatory mission studied very energetic celestial phenomena: solar flares, cosmic gamma-ray bursts, pulsars, nova and supernova explosions, accreting black holes of stellar dimensions, quasar emission, and interactions of cosmic rays with the interstellar medium. Compton left a ...
19910405 April 05, 1991 4Past
Earth CHAMP
CHAMP generated, for the first time, simultaneously highly precise gravity and magnetic field measurements over a 10 year period. This allows the tracing of spatial and time variations of both fields for a long time. The provision of regularly radio ...
20000715 July 15, 2000 4Past
Astrophysics Chandra
Chandra explores the hot turbulent regions in space with images 25 times sharper than previous x-ray pictures. Chandra is performing detailed studies of black holes, supernovas, and dark matter, to increase our understanding of the origin, evolution, and destiny of ...
19990723 July 23, 1999 3Operating
Planets Chandrayaan-1 (M3)
The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) is one of two instruments that NASA is contributing to India's first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1, which is scheduled to be launched in 2008. This mission is part of SMD's Discovery Program. This mission ...
20081022 October 22, 2008 4Past
Astrophysics CHIPS
CHIPS launched on January 12, 2003 and carried out an all-sky spectroscopy of the diffuse background at wavelengths from 90 to 260 Å.
20030112 January 12, 2003 4Past
Heliophysics CINDI/CNOFS
The Coupled Ion-Neutral Dynamics Investigations (CINDI) is a mission to understand the dynamics of the Earth's ionosphere. CINDI will provide two instruments for the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite, a project of the United States Air Force. This mission ...
20080416 April 16, 2008 3Operating
Earth CLARREO
The Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) Mission has been recommended in the NRC Decadal Survey as a key component of the future climate observing system. This mission is part of SMD's Earth Systematic Missions program.
1Under Study
Planets Clementine
The Clementine mission was designed to test lightweight miniature sensors and advanced spacecraft components by exposing them, over a long period of time, to the difficult environment of outer space. Clementine also completed the complex task of mapping the moon.
19940125 January 25, 1994 4Past
Earth CloudSat
CloudSat uses advanced radar to "slice" through clouds to see their vertical structure, providing a completely new observational capability from space. CloudSat is one of the first satellites to study clouds on a global basis. This mission is part of ...
20060428 April 28, 2006 3Operating
Heliophysics Cluster-II
Cluster is a European Space Agency program with major NASA involvement. The 4 Cluster spacecraft are providing a detailed three-dimensional map of the magnetosphere, with surprising results. This mission is part of SMD's Heliophysics Research program.
20000716 July 16, 2000 15Extended
Astrophysics COBE
The COBE satellite was developed to measure the diffuse infrared and microwave radiation from the early universe, to the limits set by our astrophysical environment.
19891118 November 18, 1989 4Past
Planets CONTOUR
The Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) was a mission intended to greatly expand what is known of comet nuclei and to assess their diversity. This mission is part of SMD's Discovery program.
20020703 July 03, 2002 4Past
Earth CRRES
The Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) was launched into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) for a nominal three-year mission to investigate fields, plasmas, and energetic particles inside the Earth's magnetosphere.
19900725 July 25, 1990 4Past
Earth CYGNSS
The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) will make frequent and accurate measurements of ocean surface winds throughout the life cycle of tropical storms and hurricanes. The goal is a fundamental improvement in hurricane forecasting. The CYGNSS data will enable ...
20161030 October 2016 1Under Study
Planets Dawn
The Dawn mission intends to orbit Vesta and Ceres, two of the largest asteroids in the solar system. According to current theories, the very different properties of Vesta and Ceres are the result of the asteroids being formed and evolving ...
20070927 September 27, 2007 3Operating
Planets Deep Impact
The Deep Impact mission was selected as a Discovery mission in 1999. The spacecraft was launched aboard a Delta II rocket on January 12, 2005 and left Earth’s orbit toward Comet Tempel 1. The spacecraft consists of two main sections, ...
20050112 January 12, 2005 4Past
Planets Deep Space 1
During its 11-month primary mission, DS1 successfully tested 12 revolutionary technologies destined for future missions. In 2001, DS-1 returned the best pictures and other scientific data ever collected at a comet.
19981024 October 24, 1998 4Past
Earth DESDynI
The Deformation, Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics of Ice mission combines two sensors that, taken together, provide observations important for solid-Earth (surface deformation), ecosystems (terrestrial biomass structure) and climate (ice dynamics). This mission is part of SMD's Earth Systematic Missions program.
20210101 2021 1Under Study
Earth DISCOVER-AQ
The overarching objective of the DISCOVER-AQ investigation is to improve the interpretation of satellite observations to diagnose near‐surface conditions relating to air quality. To diagnose air quality conditions from space, reliable satellite information on aerosols and ozone precursors is needed ...
20110701 July 2011 3Operating
Astrophysics DXS
The primary objective of the Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer (DXS) payload was to obtain measurements on the diffuse soft X-ray background radiation in the Milky Way Galaxy. DXS flew successfully in January 1993 as a shuttle cargo bay attached payload.
19930113 January 13, 1993 4Past
Earth Dynamics Explorer
The Dynamics Explorer Plasma Wave Investigator mission's general objective was to investigate the strong interactive processes coupling the hot, tenuous, convecting plasmas of the magnetosphere and the cooler, denser plasmas and gases corotating in the earth's ionosphere, upper atmosphere, and ...
19810803 August 03, 1981 4Past
Earth Earth Observing-1 (NMP)
The NMP EO-1 mission is an advanced land-imaging mission that will demonstrate new instruments and spacecraft systems. EO-1 will validate technologies contributing to the significant reduction in cost of follow-on Landsat missions. The future of Earth science measurements requires that ...
20001121 November 21, 2000 3Operating
Planets Epoxi
Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation EPOXI is a follow-on mission to Deep Impact. This mission is part of SMD's Discovery program.
20050112 January 12, 2005 3Operating
Heliophysics Equator-S
Equator-S was a German Space Agency project, with contributions from ESA and NASA, related to the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics program. The mission provided high-resolution plasma, magnetic, and electric field measurements in several regions not adequately covered by any of the ...
19971202 December 02, 1997 4Past
Earth ERBS
Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), expected to have a two-year operation life, provided scientific data about the Earth's ozone layer for more than two decades. ERBS observations have also been used to determine how human activities such as the use ...
19841005 October 05, 1984 4Past
Earth ESSA
The Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) Satellite Program provided cloud-cover photography to the American National Meteorological Center from 1966 – 1972.
19660203 February 03, 1966 4Past
Astrophysics Euclid
Euclid is an ESA-led mission to map the geometry of the dark Universe. Using two cosmological probes (weak lensing and baryonic acoustic oscillations) in a wide-field survey, Euclid will precisely measure the growth of large-scale structure and the expansion history ...
20200101 2020 2Development
Astrophysics EUVE
The Extreme-Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) was a part of NASA's Explorer spacecraft series, and designed to operate in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) range of the spectrum, from 70 - 760 Angstroms. The science payload consisted of three grazing incidence scanning telescopes ...
19920607 June 07, 1992 4Past
Planets ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter
The European Space Agency plans for the ExoMars rover to grind samples of Martian soil to fine powder and deliver them to a suite of analytical instruments, including Urey that will search for signs of life.
4Past
Heliophysics FAST
Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer (FAST) studies the detailed plasma physics of the Earth's auroral regions. Ground support campaigns coordinate satellite measurements with ground observations of the Aurora Borealis, commonly referred to as the Northern Lights. The science instruments on board ...
19960821 August 21, 1996 4Past
Astrophysics Fermi
Fermi, NASA's most recent gamma-ray observatory has a wide window on the universe. Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of light, and the gamma-ray sky is spectacularly different from the one we perceive with our own eyes. With a huge ...
20080611 June 11, 2008 3Operating
Astrophysics FUSE
Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) studied the far ultraviolet portion of the electromagnetic spectrum from high orbit. This range provided an opportunity to answer important questions about many types of astrophysical objects, such as the nuclear regions of active galaxies ...
19990624 June 24, 1999 4Past
Astrophysics GALEX
GALEX explored the origin and evolution of galaxies and the origins of stars and heavy elements. It also conducted an all-sky ultraviolet survey.
20030428 April 28, 2003 4Past
Planets Galileo
The Galileo mission produced a string of discoveries about asteroids, a fragmented comet, Jupiter's atmosphere, Jupiter's magnetic environment, and especially about the geologic diversity of Jupiter's four largest moons. This mission is part of SMD's Outer Planets Flagship program.
19891018 October 18, 1989 4Past
Astrophysics GEMS
GEMS was not confirmed to move into development. GEMS would have used an X-ray telescope to measure the polarization of the X-rays coming from the vicinity of compact objects in the universe.
14Studied
Planets Genesis
The Genesis mission was designed to collect samples of the charged particles in the solar wind and return them to Earth laboratories for detailed analysis. This mission is part of SMD's Discovery program.
20010808 August 08, 2001 4Past
Earth Geosat
The U.S. Navy GEOdetic SATellite, GEOSAT, was launched on 12 March 1985, into an 800-km, 108-deg inclination orbit, carried an altimeter that was capable of measuring the distance from satellite to sea surface with a relative precision of about 5 ...
19850312 March 12, 1985 4Past
Heliophysics Geotail
The GEOTAIL mission is a collaborative project undertaken by the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and NASA. Its primary objective is to study the tail of the Earth's magnetosphere. The information gathered is allowing scientists to model ...
19920724 July 24, 1992 3Operating
Earth GOES A - C
The launch of the prototype Synchronous Meteorological Satellite, SMS-A, in May 1974 inaugurated the series of geosynchronous satellites that has provided systematic, continuous observations of weather patterns. A second prototype, SMS-B, followed in February 1975. The GOES program formally began ...
19751016 October 16, 1975 4Past
Earth GOES D - H
GOES-4 advanced meteorologists’ capabilities by continuously profiling vertical temperature and water vapor. This major advancement permitted, for the first time, the monitoring of frame-to-frame movement of water vapor concentrations, a technique introduced by the European Meteosat-1 satellite. These missions are ...
19800909 September 09, 1980 4Past
Earth GOES I - M
The GOES I-M satellites are the primary element of U.S. weather monitoring and forecast operations and are a key component of NOAA's National Weather Service operations and modernization program. These missions are part of the GOES / POES program.
19940413 April 13, 1994 3Operating
Earth GOES N - P
GOES - N/O/P is the next series of GOES satellites. The multi-mission GOES series N - P will be a vital contributor to weather, solar, and space operations and science. These missions are part of the GOES / POES program.
20100304 March 04, 2010 2Development
Earth GOES-R
GOES-R satellites will comprise improved spacecraft and instrument technologies, which will result in more timely and accurate weather forecasts, and improve support for the detection and observations of meteorological phenomena that directly affect public safety, protection of property, and ultimately, ...
20151001 October 2015 2Development
Earth GPM
GPM Constellation follows the success of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) in initiating the measurement of global precipitation, a key climate factor. Its science objectives are: to improve ongoing efforts to predict climate by providing near-global measurement of precipitation, its ...
20140227 February 2014 2Development
Earth GRACE
The primary goal of the GRACE mission is to accurately map variations in the Earth's gravity field over its 5-year lifetime. This provides scientists from all over the world with an efficient and cost-effective way to map the Earth's gravity ...
20020317 March 17, 2002 3Operating
Planets GRAIL
The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission is a Discovery Program mission to study the lunar interior. This mission is part of SMD's Discovery Program.
20110910 September 10, 2011 3Operating
Astrophysics Gravity Probe B (GP-B)
The GP-B satellite was designed as a pristine, space-borne laboratory, whose primary task was to use four ultra-precise gyroscopes to measure directly two effects predicted by general relativity.
20040420 April 20, 2004 4Past
Earth GRIP
The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) experiment is a NASA Earth science field experiment in 2010 that will be conducted to better understand how tropical storms form and develop into major hurricanes. NASA plans to use the DC-8 aircraft, ...
20100815 August 15, 2010 4Past
Astrophysics HALCA
HALCA is a spacecraft with a radio telescope in orbit to co-observe astronomical objects with radio telescopes on Earth. The project synthesizes a radio telescope as large as the size of the satellite’s orbit - about 40,000 kilometers.
19970212 February 12, 1997 4Past
Planets Hayabusa
The objective of Hayabusa (formerly Muses-C) mission was to collect a surface sample of material from the small asteroid and return the sample to Earth for analysis.
20030509 May 09, 2003 4Past
Astrophysics Herschel
The Herschel Space Observatory is a space-based telescope that will study the Universe by the light of the far-infrared and submillimeter portions of the spectrum. It is expected to reveal new information about the earliest, most distant stars and galaxies, ...
20090514 May 14, 2009 3Operating
Astrophysics HETE-1
The prime objective of the HETE spacecraft was to carry out the first multiwavelength study of gamma-ray bursts with Ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ray instruments. A unique feature of the mission was its capability to localize bursts with several arc-second ...
19961104 November 04, 1996 4Past
Astrophysics HETE-2
HETE-2 was a small scientific satellite designed to detect and localize gamma-ray bursts.
20001009 October 09, 2000 4Past
Heliophysics Hinode (Solar-B)
Hinode (formerly known as Solar-B) is a Japanese ISAS mission proposed as a follow-on to the highly successful Japan/US/UK Yohkoh (Solar-A) collaboration. The mission consists of a coordinated set of optical, EUV and X-ray instruments that are studying the interaction ...
20060923 September 23, 2006 3Operating
Astrophysics Hipparcos
Hipparcos was a European Space Agency mission dedicated to the precise measurement of the positions, parallaxes and proper motions of the stars.
19890808 August 08, 1989 4Past
Earth HS3
Close to 100 million Americans now live within 50 miles of a coastline, thus exposing them to the potential destruction caused by a landfalling hurricane. While hurricane track prediction has improved in recent decades, improvements in hurricane intensity prediction have ...
20120801 August 2012 3Operating
Astrophysics Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
Hubble Space Telescope (HST), an ultraviolet, visible and infrared orbiting telescope, has expanded our understanding of star birth, star death, and galaxy evolution, and has helped move black holes from theory to fact. It has recorded over 100,000 images in ...
19900424 April 24, 1990 3Operating
Heliophysics IBEX
IBEX will be the first mission designed to detect the edge of the Solar System. As the solar wind from the sun flows out beyond Pluto, it collides with the material between the stars, forming a shock front. This mission ...
20081019 October 19, 2008 3Operating
Earth ICESat
ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) was the benchmark Earth Observing System mission for measuring ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics. This mission is part of SMD's Earth Systematic ...
20030112 January 12, 2003 4Past
Earth ICESat-2
ICESat (Ice, Cloud,and land Elevation Satellite) is the benchmark Earth Observing System mission for measuring ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics. This mission is part of SMD's Earth Systematic Missions ...
20160401 2016 2Development
Astrophysics IEH-3
Seven experiments made up the IEH-3 payload on the STS-95 Space Shuttle mission. The seven hitchhiker experiments were attached to a carrier system in the bay of the Shuttle orbiter for the flight in space.
19981029 October 29, 1998 4Past
Planets ILN
International Lunar Net-work (ILN), was conceived in 2008 as a partnership among space-faring nations to establish a set of robotic geophysical monitoring stations on the surface of the Moon.
20180301 March 01, 2018 1Under Study
Heliophysics IMAGE
IMAGE studied the global response of the magnetosphere to changes in the solar wind. Major changes occur to the configuration of the magnetosphere as a result of changes in and on the Sun, which in turn change the solar wind.
20000325 March 25, 2000 4Past
Heliophysics IMP-8
IMP 8 has deepened understanding of the space environment near Earth in many ways. Observations from IMP 8 provided insight into plasma physics, the Earth's magnetic field, the structure of the solar wind and the nature of cosmic rays.
19731026 October 26, 1973 4Past
Astrophysics INTEGRAL
International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) seeks to unravel the secrets of the highest-energy - and therefore the most violent - phenomena in the Universe.
20021017 October 17, 2002 3Operating
Heliophysics IRIS
The primary goal of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) explorer is to understand how the solar atmosphere is energized. The IRIS investigation combines advanced numerical modeling with a high resolution UV imaging spectrograph.
20130401 April 2013 2Development
Heliophysics ISEE
The ISEE (International Sun-Earth Explorer) program was an international cooperative program between NASA and ESA to study the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere.
19780812 August 12, 1978 4Past
Astrophysics ISO
The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), was a project of the European Space Agency (ESA), provided astronomers with a unique facility of unprecedented sensitivity for a detailed exploration of the universe ranging from objects in the solar system to the most ...
19951117 November 17, 1995 4Past
Astrophysics IUE
The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite launched in 1978 and was a unique space observatory in that it was operated like a ground-based observatory. Astronomers came to the Telescope Operations Center and directed their observations while observatory staff members commanded ...
19780126 January 26, 1978 4Past
Astrophysics IXO
International X-ray Observatory (IXO) has been designed to perform X-ray spectroscopy with unprecedented sensitivity and spectral resolution, to determine the flow of gas in accretion disks around black holes in active galactic nuclei and in binary X-ray sources, to measure ...
1Under Study
Earth Jason-1
Jason was an oceanography mission to monitor global ocean circulation, improve global climate predictions, and monitor events such as El Nino conditions and ocean eddies. The Jason-1 satellite carried a radar altimeter, and it was a follow-on mission to the ...
20011207 December 07, 2001 4Past
Astrophysics JDEM
JDEM was a possible future mission to study the expansion history of the universe. It was not selected as one of the ranked recommendations of the 2010 Decadal survey.
14Studied
Planets Juno
The Juno mission is the next scientific investigation in the NASA New Frontiers Program. The mission's primary science goal is to significantly improve our understanding of the formation and structure of Jupiter.
20110805 August 05, 2011 3Operating
JWST
James Webb Space Telescope (formerly the Next Generation Space Telescope) is designed for observations in the far visible to the mid infrared part of the spectrum. JWST will probe the era when stars and galaxies started to form; it will ...
20180101 2018 2Development
Astrophysics KAO
The Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) was a national facility operated by NASA to support research in infrared astronomy. The observatory was a highly modified C141 cargo aircraft that acquired scientific data between 1975 and 1995.
19750521 May 21, 1975 4Past
Astrophysics Keck Interferometer (KI)
The Keck Interferometer is part of NASA's overall effort to find planets and ultimately life beyond our solar system. It combines the light from the twin Keck telescopes to make high resolution measurements of stars and galaxies and to measure ...
3Operating
Astrophysics Kepler
The Kepler Mission, a NASA Discovery mission, is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way Galaxy to detect and characterize hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or nearby the habitable zone.
20090306 March 06, 2009 3Operating
Planets LADEE
Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a NASA mission that will orbit the Moon and its main objective is to characterize the atmosphere and lunar dust environment. This mission is part of SMD's Robotic Lunar Exploration program.
20130906 September 2013 2Development
Earth LAGEOS 1&2
LAGEOS, or Laser Geodynamics Satellites, are a series of satellites designed to provide an orbiting benchmark for geodynamical studies of the Earth. LAGEOS 1 & 2 provide long-term data sets to monitor the motion of the Earth's tectonic plates; measure ...
19760504 May 04, 1976 3Operating
Earth Landsat 7
Landsat 7 is a joint NASA/USGS mission that launched in April 1999 to extend the Landsat record of multispectral, medium resolution, seasonal global coverage or Earth's land surfaces. Since May 2003, a failed Scan Line Corrector has resulted in a ...
19990415 April 15, 1999 3Operating
Astrophysics LBTI
The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) is part of NASA's effort to find planets and ultimately life beyond our solar system. It combines the light from the twin telescope mirrors to make high resolution measurements of stars and galaxies and ...
2Development
Earth LDCM/Landsat 8
Landsat 8 is the latest NASA/USGS mission to extend the Landsat record of multispectral, medium resolution, seasonal global coverage or Earth's land surfaces.
20130211 February 11, 2013 3Operating
Astrophysics Leonid MAC
Leonid MAC used two aircraft carrying a variety of instruments to examine the particles from the comet Tempel -Tuttle as well as the impact of these on the upper atmosphere.
19981117 November 17, 1998 4Past
Astrophysics LISA
The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a space-based observatory that will allow us to view the Universe in a new spectrum, that of gravitational radiation. This mission is part of the Physics of the Cosmos Program.
1Under Study
Planets Lunar Prospector
Lunar Prospector was the third of NASA's Discovery missions. The project mapped the chemical composition of the lunar surface and the Moon's global magnetic and gravity fields at a level of detail greater than that achieved by previous missions. This ...
19980107 January 07, 1998 4Past
Planets Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first mission in NASA's plan to return to the moon and then to travel to Mars and beyond. This mission is part of SMD's Robotic Lunar Exploration program.
20090617 June 17, 2009 3Operating
Planets Magellan
The Magellan mission scientific objectives were to study land forms and tectonics, impact processes, erosion, deposition, chemical processes, and model the interior of Venus.
19890504 May 04, 1989 4Past
Planets Mariner Missions
Between 1962 and 1973, NASA designed and built 10 spacecraft named Mariner to explore the inner solar system – visiting the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars for the first time, and returning to Venus and Mars for additional close observations.
19620721 July 21, 1962 4Past
Planets Mars Climate Orbiter
Mars Climate Orbiter was designed to function as an interplanetary weather satellite and a communications relay for Mars Polar Lander. This mission is part of the Mars program.
19981211 December 11, 1998 4Past
Planets Mars Exploration Rover - Opportunity
The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was originally designed for a 90 Sol mission (a Sol, one Martian day, is slightly longer than an Earth day at 24 hours and 37 minutes). Its mission has been extended several times as it ...
20030707 July 07, 2003 3Operating
Planets Mars Exploration Rover - Spirit
Mars Exploration Rover Spirit landed in Gusev crater on Mars in January 2004. The rover carries a sophisticated set of instruments that allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. ...
20030610 June 10, 2003 4Past
Planets Mars Express (ASPERA-3)
Mars Express is exploring the atmosphere and surface of Mars from polar orbit. The mission's main objective is to search for sub-surface water from orbit and deploy a lander onto the Martian surface.
20030602 June 02, 2003 3Operating
Planets Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Global Surveyor is returning an unprecedented amount of data regarding Mars' surface features, atmosphere, and magnetic properties. Scientists are using the data gathered from this mission both to learn about the Earth by comparing it to Mars, and to ...
19961107 November 07, 1996 4Past
Planets Mars Observer
Mars Observer was designed to study the geoscience and climate of Mars. This mission is part of SMD's Mars Exploration program.
19920925 September 25, 1992 4Past
Planets Mars Odyssey
The 2001 Mars Odyssey is an orbiter carrying science experiments designed to make global observations of Mars to improve our understanding of the planet's climate and geologic history, including the search for water and evidence of life-sustaining environments.
20010407 April 07, 2001 3Operating
Planets Mars Pathfinder
Mars Pathfinder launched December 2, 1996 and arrived on the surface of Mars on July 4, 1997. The mission was an engineering demonstration of key technologies and concepts for use in future missions to Mars; it also delivered science instruments ...
19961204 December 04, 1996 4Past
Planets Mars Polar Lander
The Mars Polar Lander was to touch down on the southern polar layered terrain and record local meteorological conditions near the martian south pole. This mission is part of SMD's Mars Exploration program.
19990103 January 03, 1999 4Past
Planets Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) will seek to find out about the history of water on Mars with its science instruments. They will zoom in for extreme close-up photography of the martian surface to analyze minerals, look for subsurface water, ...
20050812 August 12, 2005 3Operating
Planets Mars Science Laboratory
NASA proposes to develop and to launch a roving long-range, long-duration science laboratory that will be a major leap in surface measurements and pave the way for a future sample return mission. The mission will also demonstrate the technology for ...
20111126 November 26, 2011 3Operating
Planets MAVEN
The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), set to launch in 2013, will explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Scientists will use MAVEN data to determine the role that loss of ...
20131118 November 18, 2013 2Development
Planets MESSENGER
MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) is a scientific investigation of the planet Mercury, the least explored terrestrial planet. This mission is part of SMD's Discovery program.
20040803 August 03, 2004 3Operating
Heliophysics MMS
The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission will determine the small-scale basic plasma processes which transport, accelerate and energize plasmas in thin boundary and current layers – and which control the structure and dynamics of the Earth's magnetosphere. MMS will for the first ...
20141027 October 27, 2014 2Development
Earth MOMS
The Modular Optoelectronic Multispectral Scanner (MOMS) is a scanning system (based on CCD technique) for airborne and predominantly spaceborne geoscientific remote sensing application.
19830618 June 18, 1983 4Past
Earth MOS
Marine Observation Satellite (MOS-1), Japan's first marine observation satellite, was launched in 1987 as a link in a global satellite observation system for more effective natural resource utilization and for environmental protection.
19870219 February 19, 1987 4Past
Planets NEAR-Shoemaker
As the first spacecraft to orbit and land on an asteroid, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Shoemaker mission continues to answer fundamental questions about the nature and origin of near-Earth objects. This mission is part of SMD's Discovery Program.
19960217 February 17, 1996 4Past
Planets New Horizons
The New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission will help us understand worlds at the edge of our solar system, by making the first reconnaissance of Pluto and Charon. The mission will then visit one or more Kuiper Belt Objects, in the ...
20060119 January 19, 2006 3Operating
Earth Nimbus
The Nimbus series of missions was the United States’ primary research and development platform for satellite remote-sensing of the Earth. The satellites increased the scientific community’s knowledge of the Earth’s atmosphere, land surface and ecosystems, weather, and oceanography.
19640827 August 27, 1964 4Past
Earth NOAA-N
NOAA-N broadcasts data directly to thousands of users around the world and continues to provide a polar-orbiting platform to support the environmental monitoring instruments for imaging and measurement of the Earth's atmosphere, its surface, and cloud cover. Observations include information ...
20050520 May 20, 2005 3Operating
Earth NPOESS
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) is a satellite system used to monitor global environmental conditions, and collect and disseminate data related to weather, atmosphere, oceans, land and near-space environment. This mission is part of the GOES/POES program.
20140331 March 31, 2014 2Development
Astrophysics NuSTAR
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array is a pathfinder mission that will open the high energy X-ray sky for sensitive study for the first time. This mission is part of SMD's Astrophysics Explorers program.
20120613 June 13, 2012 3Operating
Astrophysics OAO
The Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) was a series of four satellites launched by NASA between 1966 and 1972.
4Past
Earth OCO
OCO provided space-based observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal human-initiated driver of climate change. This mission used mature technologies to address NASA's highest priority carbon cycle measurement requirement. OCO generated precise global maps of the abundance of CO2 ...
20090224 February 24, 2009 4Past
Earth OCO-2
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory -2 (OCO-2) is based on the original OCO mission that was developed under the NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) Program Office and launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on February 24, 2009. Before spacecraft separation, ...
20140701 July 2014 2Development
Earth OCO-3
Orbiting Carbon Observatory – 3 (OCO-3) is a complete stand-alone payload built using the spare OCO-2 flight instrument, with additional elements added to accommodate installation and operation on the International Space Station (ISS).
20161215 December 2016 2Development
Earth Operation IceBridge
Operation IceBridge is a six-year airborne campaign designed to capture geophysical measurements of changes in polar ice sheets and sea ice during a gap in the space-based observations of ICESat and ICESat-2.
20091015 October 15, 2009 3Operating
Astrophysics ORFEUS-SPAS II
ORFEUS-SPAS II mission conducted investigations of celestial sources in the far and extreme ultraviolet spectral range, and to increase understanding of the evolution of stars, the structure of galaxies, and the nature of the interstellar medium.
19961120 November 20, 1996 4Past
Planets OSIRIS-REx
NASA will launch a spacecraft to an asteroid in 2016 and use a robotic arm to pluck samples that could better explain our solar system's formation and how life began. The mission, called Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, will ...
20160901 September 2016 2Development
Earth OSTM
OSTM measures sea surface height to an accuracy of < 3.3 cm every ten days. Sea surface topography measured by satellite altimeters has numerous applications important to global environmental monitoring including predicting hurricane intensification, improving tide models, mapping deep ocean ...
20080620 June 20, 2008 3Operating
Planets Phoenix
Phoenix seeks to verify the presence of the Martian Holy Grail: water and habitable conditions.
20070804 August 04, 2007 4Past
Planets Pioneer 10 & 11
These Pioneer missions traveled through the asteroid belt to observe Jupiter, Saturn and continue on to the outer solar system.
19720303 March 03, 1972 4Past
Planets Pioneer Venus Missions
Pioneer Venus consisted of two spacecraft to study Venus: the Orbiter and the Multiprobe.
19780520 May 20, 1978 4Past
Astrophysics Planck
Planck is imaging minor variations relevant in the Cosmic Background Radiation over the whole sky, with unprecedented sensitivity and angular resolution. Planck is providing information relevant to several cosmological and astrophysical issues, such as testing theories of the early universe ...
20090514 May 14, 2009 3Operating
Heliophysics Polar
Polar is the second of two NASA spacecraft in the Global Geospace Science (GGS) initiative and part of the ISTP Project. GGS is designed to improve greatly the understanding of the flow of energy, mass and momentum in the solar-terrestrial ...
19960224 February 24, 1996 4Past
Earth QuikSCAT
QuikSCAT mission is intended to record sea-surface wind speed and direction data under all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans. QuikSCAT was initiated as a "quick recovery" mission to help reduce the ocean-wind vector data gap created by the ...
19990619 June 19, 1999 3Operating
Earth RADARSAT-1
Canada's Radarsat is a radar satellite featuring variable resolution, and different view angles at a number of preset positions.
19951104 November 04, 1995 3Operating
Planets Ranger
The Ranger project of the 1960s was the first U.S. effort to launch probes directly toward the Moon. The spacecraft were designed to relay pictures and other data as they approached the Moon and finally crash-landed into its surface.
19610822 August 22, 1961 4Past
Heliophysics RHESSI
Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscope Imager (RHESSI) studies solar flares in X-rays and gamma-rays. It explores the basic physics of particle acceleration and explosive energy release in these energetic events in the Sun's atmosphere. This is accomplished by imaging ...
20020205 February 05, 2002 3Operating
Astrophysics ROSAT
The ROentgen SATellite, was an X-ray observatory developed through a cooperative program between the Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
19900601 June 01, 1990 4Past
Planets Rosetta
The Rosetta Orbiter will study the origin of comets, the relationship between cometary and interstellar material and its implications with regard to the origin of the Solar System. This mission is part of SMD's Solar System Exploration Program.
20040302 March 02, 2004 3Operating
Astrophysics RXTE
Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer studied variability over time in the emission of X-ray sources, with moderate spectral resolution. This time behavior is a source of important information about processes and structures in white-dwarf stars, X-ray binaries, neutron stars, pulsars and ...
19951230 December 30, 1995 4Past
Astrophysics SAC-B
Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas-B was designed to advance the study of solar physics and astrophysics through the examination of solar flares, gamma ray bursts, diffuse X-ray cosmic background, and energetic neutral atoms.
19961104 November 04, 1996 4Past
Earth SAGE III - ISS
The SAGE III instrument is used to study ozone, a gas found in the upper atmosphere that acts as Earth’s sunscreen.
20140725 2014 2Development
Earth SAGE III – Meteor-3M
The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III – Meteor-3M (SAGE III – Meteor-3M) was an Earth Observing System (EOS) - joint mission between the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Russian Space Agency (RSA). The SAGE III ...
20011210 December 10, 2001 4Past
Heliophysics SAMPEX
The Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer was investigating the composition of local interstellar matter and solar material and the transport of magnetospheric charged particles into the Earth's atmosphere.
19920703 July 03, 1992 4Past
Earth Seasat 1
The Ocean Dynamics Satellite (Seasat 1) was designed to provide measurements of sea-surface winds, sea-surface temperatures, wave heights, internal waves, atmospheric liquid water content, sea ice features, ocean features, ocean topography, and the marine geoid.
19780627 June 27, 1978 4Past
Earth SeaWiFS
The SeaStar satellite carries the SeaWiFS instrument which is designed to monitor the color of the world's oceans. This mission is part of SMD's Earth Systematic Missions program.
19970801 August 01, 1997 4Past
Earth SeaWinds (ADEOS II)
The SeaWinds scatterometer is a specialized microwave radar that measures near-surface wind velocity (both speed and direction) under all weather and cloud conditions over Earth's oceans. This is a twin sister to the QuikSCAT sensor and flies on the Japanese ...
20021214 December 14, 2002 3Operating
Astrophysics SIM
SIM/SIM-Lite was not recommended for development this decade by the Astro2010 Decadal Survey. As a consequence NASA sponsorship of the project was discontinued effective December 31, 2010.
14Studied
Earth SIR-C
Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR), part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, was studying how our global environment is changing. From the unique vantage point of space, the radar system observed, monitored and assessed large-scale environmental processes with a focus on ...
19940419 April 19, 1994 4Past
Earth SMAP
The Soil Moisture Active-Passive (SMAP) will use a combined radiometer and high-resolution radar to measure surface soil moisture and freeze-thaw state, providing for scientific advances and societal benefits. This mission is part of SMD's Earth Systematic Missions program.
20141030 October 2014 2Development
Earth SMS
The Synchronous Meterological Satellites were the first operational spacecrafts to sense meteorological conditions from a fixed location. They carried instrumentation for visible and international remote imaging, collection of data from automated remote platforms, relay of weather products (WEFAX), and measurement ...
19740517 May 17, 1974 4Past
Heliophysics SNOE
SNOE ("snowy") was a small satellite investigating the effects of energy from the Sun and from the magnetosphere on the density of nitric oxide in the Earth's upper atmosphere.
19980226 February 26, 1998 4Past
Astrophysics SOFIA
SOFIA is the world's largest airborne observatory. It studies the universe over a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum, from the optical to the far infrared.
2Development
Heliophysics SOHO
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a solar observatory studying the structure, chemical composition, and dynamics of the solar interior. SOHO a joint venture of the European Space Agency and NASA. This mission is part of SMD's Heliophysics Research program.
19951202 December 02, 1995 3Operating
Heliophysics Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is the first mission and crown jewel in a fleet of NASA missions to study our sun. The mission is the cornerstone of a NASA science program called Living With a Star (LWS). The goal ...
20100211 February 11, 2010 3Operating
Heliophysics Solar Orbiter
Solar Orbiter is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to study the Sun from a distance closer than any spacecraft previously has, and will provide images and measurements in unprecedented resolution and detail. This mission is part of SMD's LWS ...
1Under Study
Heliophysics Solar Probe Plus
Solar Probe Plus will be a historic mission, flying into one of the last unexplored regions of the solar system, the Sun’s atmosphere or corona, for the first time. This mission is part of SMD's LWS Program.
1Under Study
Earth SORCE
SORCE is a NASA-sponsored satellite mission that will provide state-of-the-art measurements of incoming x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and total solar radiation. The measurements provided by SORCE specifically address long-term climate change, natural variability and enhanced climate prediction, and atmospheric ozone ...
20030125 January 25, 2003 3Operating
Heliophysics Space Environment Testbeds
The Space Environment Testbeds (SET) Project performs flight and ground investigations to understand how the Sun/Earth interactions affect humanity.
20140101 January 2014 2Development
Heliophysics Spartan 201
Spartan was a small, Shuttle-launched and retrieved satellite. Spartan 201, whose mission was to study the Sun, has a science payload consisting of two telescopes: the Ultraviolet Coronal Spectrometer (UVCS) and the White Light Coronagraph (WLC). Spartan 201 was launched ...
19940913 September 13, 1994 4Past
Astrophysics Spitzer
Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly known as SIRTF) conducts infrared astronomy from space. From an unusual heliocentric orbit designed to keep its sensitive instruments away from Earth's radiated heat, Spitzer has detected several distant objects, including several supermassive black holes, that ...
20030825 August 25, 2003 3Operating
Earth SRTM
The goal of SRTM, a joint project of NASA, NIMA, and the German and Italian space agencies, was to map the world in three dimensions. In its 11-day mission on STS-99 in February 2000, SRTM collected an unprecedented 8.6 Terabytes ...
20000211 February 11, 2000 4Past
Heliophysics ST5
Space Technology 5 (ST5) flight tested its miniaturized satellites and innovative technologies in the harsh environment of Earth's magnetosphere.
20060322 March 22, 2006 4Past
ST6
ST6 consists of two technologies onboard two different spacecrafts: Autonomous Sciencecraft Constellation and Inertial Stellar Compass.
20061216 December 16, 2006 4Past
Astrophysics ST-7 / Lisa Pathfinder
Space Technology 7 project will flight test a Disturbance Reduction System (DRS) that will aid scientists in their quest to detect and measure gravitational waves in space.
20150630 2015 2Development
Planets Stardust
Stardust is the first U.S. space mission dedicated solely to the exploration of a comet, and the first robotic mission designed to return extraterrestrial material from outside the orbit of the Moon. This mission is part of SMD's Discovery Program. ...
19990207 February 07, 1999 4Past
Planets Stardust-NExT
STARDUST-NExT - short for "New Exploration of Tempel-1" - is a follow-on mission for STARDUST, one of the great successes of NASA's Discovery program.
4Past
Starshine
NASA deployed three Starshine satellites, which were designed by the US Naval Research Laboratory and built by a coalition of volunteers.
19990605 June 05, 1999 4Past
Heliophysics STEREO
The goal of STEREO is to understand the origin the Sun's coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and their consequences for Earth. The mission consists of two spacecraft, one leading and the other lagging Earth in its orbit. The spacecraft carries instrumentation ...
20061025 October 25, 2006 3Operating
Earth Suomi NPP
Suomi NPP is a joint mission to extend key measurements in support of long term monitoring of climate trends and of global biological productivity. This mission is part of SMD's Earth Systematic Missions program.
20111025 October 25, 2011 3Operating
Planets Surveyor
Surveyor succeeded the Ranger program. Its primary focus was engineering work in preparation for Apollo, specifically soft landings and lifting off from the moon's surface.
19660529 May 29, 1966 4Past
Astrophysics Suzaku (Astro-E2)
Suzaku (formerly Astro-E2) provides powerful tools to use the Universe as a laboratory for unraveling complex, high-energy processes and the behavior of matter under extreme conditions. This mission is part of SMD's Astrophysics Explorers program. This mission was awarded via ...
20050710 July 10, 2005 3Operating
Astrophysics SWAS
The Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) instrument was a submillimeter wave telescope that incorporated dual heterodyne radiometers and an acousto-optical spectrometer to investigate the composition of dense interstellar clouds.
19981206 December 06, 1998 4Past
Astrophysics Swift
Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer is a three-telescope space observatory for studying the position, brightness, and physical properties of gamma ray bursts. Although gamma ray bursts are the largest known explosions in the Universe, outshining the rest of the Universe ...
20041120 November 20, 2004 3Operating
Earth SWOT
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will contribute to a better understanding of the world's oceans and its terrestrial surface waters.
20200101 2020 1Under Study
Earth TEMPO
TEMPO measures pollution of North America, from Mexico City to the Canadian tar/oil sands, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific hourly and at high spatial resolution. TEMPO’s measurements from geostationary orbit (GEO) of tropospheric ozone, aerosols, their precursors, and ...
20130901 2013 1Under Study
Earth Terra
Terra (formerly EOS AM-1) is the flagship satellite of NASA's Earth observing systems. Terra is the first EOS (Earth Observing System) platform and provides global data on the state of the atmosphere, land, and oceans, as well as their interactions ...
19991218 December 18, 1999 3Operating
Earth TERRIERS
TERRIERS was a very small "University-class" Explorer intended to study a number of ionospheric and thermospheric phenomena, and test the utility of long term solar EUV (extreme ultraviolet) irradiance measurements.
19990518 May 18, 1999 4Past
Heliophysics THEMIS
Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) is a study of the onset of magnetic storms within the tail of the Earth's magnetosphere. THEMIS will fly five microsatellite probes through different regions of the magnetosphere and observe ...
20070217 February 17, 2007 3Operating
Heliophysics TIMED
Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) explores the energy transfer into and out of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere/Ionosphere (MLTI) region of the Earth's atmosphere. This mission is part of SMD's Solar Terrestrial Probes Program.
20011207 December 07, 2001 3Operating
Earth TIROS
TIROS spacecraft were the beginning of a long series of polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. The objective was to establish a global weather satellite system.
19600401 April 01, 1960 4Past
Earth TOMS-EP
The Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer, launched in July 1996 onboard an Earth Probe Satellite (TOMS/EP), continues NASA's long-term daily mapping of the global distribution of the Earth's atmospheric ozone. This NASA-developed instrument, measures ozone indirectly by mapping ultraviolet light emitted ...
19960702 July 02, 1996 4Past
Earth TOPEX/Poseidon
TOPEX/Poseidon monitored global ocean circulation, improved global climate predictions, and tracked El Niño conditions and ocean eddies. The mission's most important achievement was to determine the patterns of ocean circulation - how heat stored in the ocean moves from one ...
19920810 August 10, 1992 4Past
Astrophysics TPF
The Terrestrial Planet Finder was a mission concept previously under study by NASA. It was comprised of a Coronagraph and Interferometer that would study aspects of planets outside our solar system.
14Studied
Heliophysics TRACE
Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) observed the effects of the emergence of magnetic flux from deep inside the Sun to the outer corona with high spatial and temporal resolution. This mission was part of SMD's Heliophysics Explorers program. This ...
19980401 April 01, 1998 4Past
Earth TRMM
TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan. TRMM is particularly devoted to determining rainfall in the tropics and subtropics of the Earth. These regions make up about two thirds of the ...
19971127 November 27, 1997 3Operating
TSS
The Tethered Satellite System (TSS) consists of a satellite, a conducting tether, and a tether deployment/retrieval system to be flown on the Space Shuttle.
19920626 June 26, 1992 4Past
Heliophysics TWINS A & B
TWINS will provide stereo imaging of the Earth's magnetosphere, the region surrounding the planet controlled by its magnetic field and containing the Van Allen radiation belts and other energetic charged particles. This mission is part of SMD's Explorers Program. This ...
20080313 March 13, 2008 3Operating
Earth UARS
Launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery on September 15, 1991, UARS orbited the Earth more than 78,000 times, using 10 onboard scientific instruments to collect data on a variety of chemicals, including carbon dioxide, ozone, chlorine, methane, nitrogen oxides and ...
19910912 September 12, 1991 4Past
Heliophysics Ulysses
The Ulysses Mission was the first spacecraft to explore interplanetary space at high solar latitudes, orbiting the Sun nearly perpendicular to the plane in which the planets orbit. This mission was part of SMD's Heliophysics Research program.
19901006 October 06, 1990 4Past
Heliophysics Van Allen Probes
The Van Allen Probes are designed to help us understand the Sun’s influence on Near-Earth space by studying the Earth’s radiation belts on various scales of space and time.
20120830 August 2012 3Operating
Planets Viking 1 - 2
Two Viking spacecraft, each composed of an orbiter and a lander, flew to Mars in the mid 1970's. They measured atmospheric water vapor, did chemical analysis of the soil, and took photographs of the entire surface.
19750820 August 20, 1975 4Past
Heliophysics Voyager
The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft continue exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. In the 25th year after their 1977 launches, they each are much farther away from Earth and the Sun than Pluto is and approaching ...
19770905 September 05, 1977 3Operating
Heliophysics Wind
Wind studies the solar wind and its impact on the near-Earth environment. This mission is part of SMD's Heliophysics Research program.
19941101 November 01, 1994 3Operating
Astrophysics WIRE
The Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WIRE) is a Small Explorer Mission designed to study the evolution of starburst galaxies and search for distant ultra-luminous galaxies.
19990304 March 04, 1999 4Past
Astrophysics WISE
WISE spent over a year imaging the entire sky in the infrared. The NEOWISE Survey surveyed small bodies, asteroids, and comets in our solar system.
20091214 December 14, 2009 4Past
Astrophysics WMAP
WMAP addressed fundamental questions in cosmology: What is the geometry of the Universe? How did structures, such as galaxies and galaxy clusters, that we see in today’s sky come about? How old is the Universe, and what are its constituents?
20010630 June 30, 2001 4Past
Astrophysics XMM-Newton
XMM-Newton is an X-ray astrophysics observatory that enables astronomers to conduct sensitive X-ray spectroscopic observations of a wide variety of cosmic sources. This mission is part of SMD's Physics of the Cosmos program.
19991210 December 10, 1999 3Operating
Heliophysics Yohkoh
Yohkoh, an observatory for studying X-rays and gamma-rays from the Sun, is a project of the Institute for Space and Astronautical Sciences, Japan.
19910830 August 30, 1991 4Past