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Image Name Short Description Launch Date Target Acronym Destination Summary Keywords
Artist's concept of AcrimSat Active Cavity Irradiance Monitor Satellite The Active Cavity Irradiance Monitor Satellite, or AcrimSat, mission is a climate change investigation that measures changes in how much of the sun's energy reaches Earth's atmosphere. 12/20/1999 Earth AcrimSat The Active Cavity Irradiance Monitor Satellite, or AcrimSat, mission is a climate change investigation that measures changes in how much of the sun's energy reaches Earth's atmosphere. This energy, called solar irradience, creates winds, heats the land and drives ocean currents, and therefore contains significant data that climatologists can use to improve predictions of climate change and global warming.

The satellite's Active Cavity Irradiance Monitor III instrument, now in its third generation, has been used since the 1980s to study solar irradiance and its impacts on global warming. Scientists, using data from the instrument, now theorize that there is a significant correlation between solar radiation and global warming.
climate change, global warming, satellites, NASA missions, space missions, Earth missions, space exploration, Earth's Sun, solar flares, sun spots, solar irradience, AcrimSat, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Artist's concept of Terra satellite Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Designed to capture high-resolution images of Earth, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or ASTER, instrument is one of five instruments aboard NASA's Terra satellite. 12/18/1999 Earth ASTER Designed to capture high-resolution images of Earth, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or ASTER, instrument is one of five instruments aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument's data are used to create detailed maps of land surface temperature, emissivity, reflectance and elevation on Earth.

Images taken by the ASTER instrument also provide detailed views of the effects of global climate change and extreme weather on Earth's landforms and topography.
satellite images, NASA images, Earth images, weather, topography, Earth mission, satellite mission, Earth Observing System, NASA spacecraft, NASA instruments, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Aquarius - SAC-D (Artist's Concept) Aquarius The Aquarius mission is providing the first global observations of sea surface salinity, giving climatologists a better understanding of the ocean's role in Earth's water cycle and weather patterns, as well as global climate change. 06/10/2011 Earth The Aquarius mission is providing the first global observations of sea surface salinity, giving climatologists a better understanding of the ocean's role in Earth's water cycle and weather patterns, as well as global climate change.

Together with sensors that measure sea level, ocean color, temperature, winds, rainfall and evaporation, Aquarius, the NASA-built primary instrument aboard the Argentinian space agency's Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas spacecraft, will offer a much clearer picture of how the ocean works, how it is linked to climate and how it may respond to climate change.
sea surface salinity, salt in the ocean, measure salt, Argentina space agency, water cycle, climate change, global warming, warming oceans, NASA satellite, Earth mission, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Artist's concept of Atmospheric Infrared Sounder Instrument Atmospheric Infrared Sounder The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, or AIRS, instrument is a key tool for climate studies on greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide distribution, as well as weather forecasts. 05/04/2002 Earth AIRS The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, or AIRS, instrument is a key tool for climate studies on greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide distribution, as well as weather forecasts. When it launched in 2002 along with five other instruments aboard NASA's Aqua satellite, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder became the most advanced atmospheric sounding system ever deployed in space.

The instrument is designed to collect climate data and turn it into 3-D maps of air and surface temperature, water vapor and cloud properties, helping improve researchers' understanding of severe weather patterns and how they relate to global climate change.
weather, climate change, global warming, Earth satellite, NASA Earth mission, space missions, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, vapor, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Artists's Conception of Cassini Saturn Orbit Insertion Cassini-Huygens Orbiting the ringed planet Saturn and its numerous moons, the Cassini spacecraft has been and continues to be a keystone of exploration of the Saturnian system and the properties of gaseous planets in our solar system. 10/15/1997 Saturn Cassini Saturn, Saturn's moons (Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Helene Rhea, Titan, Iapetus, Phoebe) Orbiting the ringed planet Saturn and its numerous moons, the Cassini spacecraft has been and continues to be a keystone of exploration of the Saturnian system and the properties of gaseous planets in our solar system.

A joint endeavor of NASA, the European Space Agency, or ESA, and the Italian Space Agency, Cassini launched in 1997 along with ESA's Huygens probe. The spacecraft contributed to studies of Jupiter for six months in 2000 before reaching its destination, Saturn, in 2004 and starting a string of flybys of Saturn's moons. That same year it released the Huygens probe on Saturn's moon Titan to conduct a study of the moon's atmosphere and surface composition. Now in its second extended mission, which goes through 2017, Cassini will make the first observations of a complete seasonal period for Saturn and its moons.
Saturn planet, Saturn missions, NASA missions, Solar System, planets, space missions, space exploration, Cassini, Huygens, ESA, NASA, JPL, NASAJPL, Enceladus, Titan, Rhea
Artist's rendering of Cloudsat in orbit Cloudsat Part of NASA's fleet of weather- and climate-tracking satellites, CloudSat uses advanced radar to examine the inner structure of clouds, helping researchers better understand how severe tropical cyclones as well as climate changes related to clouds occur. 04/28/2006 Earth Part of NASA's fleet of weather- and climate-tracking satellites, CloudSat uses advanced radar to examine the inner structure of clouds, helping researchers better understand how severe tropical cyclones as well as climate changes related to clouds occur.

In August 2010, CloudSat embarked on a new mission phase to study the genesis and patterns of tropical cyclones. Since its launch in 2006, CloudSat has played an instrumental role in new techniques for estimating the intensity of hurricanes from space, in addition to producing data about links between pollution and rainfall.
clouds, hurricanes, cyclones, cloud researach, NASA satellite, NASA spacecraft, climate change, global warming, weather, severe weather, CloudSat, Earth missions, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Artist's concept of Dawn spacecraft Dawn Having explored the giant asteroid Vesta and on its way to the dwarf planet Ceres, the Dawn spacecraft is designed to conduct an in-depth and up-close study of these two celestial bodies believed to have formed early in the history of the solar system. 09/27/2007 asteroid Vesta, Ceres asteroid Vesta, Ceres Having explored the giant asteroid Vesta and on its way to the dwarf planet Ceres, the Dawn spacecraft is designed to conduct an in-depth and up-close study of these two celestial bodies believed to have formed early in the history of the solar system.

During its mission, Dawn will characterize the early solar system and the processes that shaped its formation. Data returned from the Dawn spacecraft could provide opportunities for significant breakthroughs in our knowledge of how the solar system formed.
asteroid missions, dwarf planets, asteroids, Asteroid Watch, NASA missions, Dawn mission, Dawn spacecraft, space exploration, asteroids and comets, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
GRACE Spacecraft Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment An award-winning mission that's changed the way we study Earth's gravitational forces, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, mission flies twin spacecraft in tandem around Earth to study key changes in the planet's waters and ice sheets. 03/17/2002 Earth GRACE An award-winning mission that's changed the way we study Earth's gravitational forces, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, mission flies twin spacecraft in tandem around Earth to study key changes in the planet's waters and ice sheets.

In 2011, the gravity measurement technique pioneered by GRACE, which works by measuring changes in the push and pull between the twin spacecraft as they orbit Earth, was put to use on NASA's twin GRAIL spacecraft embarking on an ambitious mission to study the gravitational forces of Earth's moon.
planet Earth, climate change, golbal climate change, NASA climate change, global warming, Earth's gravity, gravity on Earth, satellites, Earth spacecraft, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Juno Mission to Jupiter (2010 Artist's Concept) Juno The Juno spacecraft, currently making its way to Jupiter, will for the first time peer below Jupiter's dense cover of clouds to answer questions about the gas giant and the origins of our solar system. 08/05/2011 Jupiter Jupiter The Juno spacecraft, currently making its way to Jupiter, will for the first time peer below Jupiter's dense cover of clouds to answer questions about the gas giant and the origins of our solar system.

Juno's primary goal is to reveal the story of Jupiter's formation and evolution. Using long-proven technologies on a spinning spacecraft placed in an elliptical polar orbit, Juno will observe Jupiter's gravity and magnetic fields, atmospheric dynamics and composition, and evolution.
Jupiter, planet Jupiter, missions to Jupiter, NASA Jupiter mission, NASA Juno, Juno mission, Juno launch, Juno Jupiter mission, gas giant, gas planets, history of the solar system, history of the planets, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Keck Interferometer Keck Interferometer The Keck Interferometer is a ground-based instrument that combines the light from the twin Keck telescopes to create an instrument equal in power to an 85-meter telescope that can detect and study stars and planets beyond our solar system. 03/12/2001 Universe The Keck Interferometer is a ground-based instrument that combines the light from the twin Keck telescopes to create an instrument equal in power to an 85-meter telescope that can detect and study stars and planets beyond our solar system.

Astronomers use the interferometer, which provides vital information about exoplanets and planetary formation, to measure the diameters of stars, disks orbiting nearby stars and the orbital characteristics of binary systems.
telescope, space telescope, Keck Observatory, Hawaii telescope, space exploration, universe, stars and galaxies, Keck Interferometer, PlanetQuest, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Kepler in Space (Artist Concept) Kepler Kepler is a space telescope designed to survey a portion of the Milky Way galaxy in search of Earth-size planets, including those where liquid water and possibly life might exist. 03/06/2009 Universe Kepler is a space telescope designed to survey a portion of the Milky Way galaxy in search of Earth-size planets, including those where liquid water and possibly life might exist.

Using data from the mission, scientists hope to understand how common Earth-like planets are and assess the likelihood of finding a planet near our own that could support life.
planets, other planets, Earth-like planets, Earth-size planets, universe, other Earths, Kepler, space telescope, space mission, space exploration, PlanetQuest, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL, Ames
Large Binocular Telescope Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, or LBTI, is a ground-based instrument connecting two 8-meter class telescopes on Mount Graham in Arizona to form the largest single-mount telescope in the world. 12/06/2010 Universe LBTI The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, or LBTI, is a ground-based instrument connecting two 8-meter class telescopes on Mount Graham in Arizona to form the largest single-mount telescope in the world. The interferometer is designed to detect and study stars and planets outside our solar system.

Unlike other interferometers, it also provides high-resolution images of faint objects over a wide field-of-view, including galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field with 10 times the Hubble resolution.
telescope, space telescope, LBTI, Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, space exploration, Earth-like planets, universe, other Earths, new planets, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Temperature Gauge Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment An instrument flying aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment is designed to measure surface temperatures on the moon, providing key information for future lunar surface operations and exploration. 06/18/2009 Moon DLRE Moon An instrument flying aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment is designed to measure surface temperatures on the moon, providing key information for future lunar surface operations and exploration.

Measurements from the Diviner instrument will be used to create a compositional map of the moon and identify landing hazards such as rough or rocky areas.
Moon, Earth's moon, moon missions, mission to the moon, moon landings, moon orbiter, LRO, lunar, lunar orbiter, diviner, Goddard, Luna, composition of the moon, what is the moon made of, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Mars Exploration Rover Mars Exploration Rover - Opportunity Opportunity was the second of the two rovers launched in 2003 to land on Mars and begin traversing the Red Planet in search of signs of past life. 07/07/2003 Mars MER Terra Meridiani, Mars Opportunity was the second of the two rovers launched in 2003 to land on Mars and begin traversing the Red Planet in search of signs of past life. The rover is still actively exploring the Martian terrain, having far outlasted her planned 90-day mission.

Since landing on Mars in 2004, Opportunity has made a number of discoveries about the Red Planet including dramatic evidence that long ago at least one area of Mars stayed wet for an extended period and that conditions could have been suitable for sustaining microbial life.

› Learn more about Opportunity's twin rover, Spirit
Mars, mission to Mars, Mars rover, Opportunity rover, Mars rover Opportunity, Mars Exploration Rovers, twin rovers, Mars robots, Mars spacecraft, space exploration, Opportunity mission, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Mars Odyssey Spacecraft Mars Odyssey With more than 10 years in orbit and counting, the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft has spent more time in orbit around the Red Planet, collecting data on Mars' climate and geology, than any other spacecraft in history. 04/07/2001 Mars Mars With more than 10 years in orbit and counting, the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft has spent more time in orbit around the Red Planet, collecting data on Mars' climate and geology, than any other spacecraft in history. It also serves as a key communications relay for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

In 2002, the orbiter's discovery of hydrogen just below the Martian surface prompted the creation of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission, which in 2008 confirmed theories that the element was contained in frozen water in Mars' high-latitude regions.
Mars, Mars missions, mission to Mars, Mars Odyssey, Red Planet, Mars orbiter, mission to Mars, space exploration, Mars images, NASA missions, JPL missions, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter over Nilosyrtis Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO, has studied the Red Planet's atmosphere and terrain from orbit since 2006 and also serves as a key data relay station for other Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. 08/12/2005 Mars MRO Mars The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO, has studied the Red Planet's atmosphere and terrain from orbit since 2006 and also serves as a key data relay station for other Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

Equipped with a powerful camera called HiRISE that has aided in a number of discoveries, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has sent back thousands of stunning images of the Martian surface that are helping scientists learn more about Mars, including the history of water flows on or near the planet's surface.
Mars, Mars missions, mission to Mars, Mars orbiter, HIRISE camera, Mars spacecraft, Mars camera, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MRO, space exploration, Red Planet, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Curiosity: The Next Mars Rover (Artist's Concept) Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover The Mars Science Laboratory mission's Curiosity rover, the most technologically advanced rover ever built, landed in Mars' Gale Crater the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT) using a series of complicated landing maneuvers never before attempted. 11/26/2011 Mars MSL Gale Crater, Mars The Mars Science Laboratory mission's Curiosity rover, the most technologically advanced rover ever built, landed in Mars' Gale Crater the evening of Aug. 5 PDT (morning of Aug. 6 EDT) using a series of complicated landing maneuvers never before attempted. The specialized landing sequence, which employed a giant parachute, a jet-controlled descent vehicle and a bungee-like apparatus called a "sky crane," was devised because tested landing techniques used during previous rover missions could not safely accommodate the much larger and heavier rover.

Curiosity's mission is to determine whether the Red Planet ever was, or is, habitable to microbial life. The rover, which is about the size of a MINI Cooper, is equipped with 17 cameras and a robotic arm containing a suite of specialized laboratory-like tools and instruments.
Mars, Mars rovers, rovers on Mars, mission to Mars, rover, Curiosity, MSL, Mars Science Laboratory, next Mars rover, new Mars rover, space exploration, Red Planet, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Rosetta Orbiter Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter Flying aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, the NASA-built Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter, or MIRO, will study gases given off by comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko when the spacecraft goes into orbit around the object in August 2014. 03/02/2004 comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko MIRO comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Flying aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, the NASA-built Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter, or MIRO, will study gases given off by comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko when the spacecraft goes into orbit around the object in August 2014.

The instrument will measure the amounts of carbon monoxide, ammonia, methanol and oxygen leaving the comet, which will show how comet materials change from ice to gas, and will help determine temperature changes as the comet approaches the sun.
Comet, comet missions, Rosetta, ESA, NASA instruments, MIRO, microwave instrument, space exploration, asteroids and comets, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Aura Earth Satellite Microwave Limb Sounder Making up one piece of the most advanced and accurate atmospheric chemistry laboratory ever deployed in space, the Microwave Limb Sounder, or MLS, instrument flies aboard NASA's Aura Earth satellite with three other instruments. 07/15/2004 Earth MLS Making up one piece of the most advanced and accurate atmospheric chemistry laboratory ever deployed in space, the Microwave Limb Sounder, or MLS, instrument flies aboard NASA's Aura Earth satellite with three other instruments.

The Microwave Limb Sounder is designed to study the natural thermal radiation emitted from Earth's limb (the edge of Earth's atmosphere) to gather measurements on atmospheric gases, temperature and pressure. These data can be used to better understand the causes of ozone changes and pollution in the upper troposphere.
Earth, Earth missions, Earth satellite, studying Earth, Earth Observing Systems, satellite, NASA satellite, Earth's ozone, global climate change, Aura, MLS, Microwave Limb Sounder, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, or MISR, instrument is one of five instruments aboard NASA's Terra satellite, which is collecting important data on the causes and effects of global climate change. 12/18/1999 Earth MISR The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, or MISR, instrument is one of five instruments aboard NASA's Terra satellite, which is collecting important data on the causes and effects of global climate change. The instrument views the Earth from nine different angles to get a better picture of various atmospheric particles, cloud forms and land surface covers.

During the Terra mission's lifetime, the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer has been instrumental in gathering unique views of weather events such as hurricanes and floods, as well as cataloging the effects of air pollution across the globe.
Earth, Earth satellites, NASA satellite, MISR, Terra, Terra satellite, EOS, Earth Observing System, global climate change, weather, weather tracking, clouds, atmosphere, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, mission will study the universe in high energy X-rays to better understand the dynamics of black holes, exploding stars and the most extreme active galaxies. 06/13/2012 Universe NuSTAR The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, mission will study the universe in high energy X-rays to better understand the dynamics of black holes, exploding stars and the most extreme active galaxies.

In addition to complimenting astrophysics missions studying the universe in various spectra, NuSTAR, the first hard-focusing X-ray telescope to orbit Earth, is expected to greatly improve on observations from ground-based observatories.
black holes, supernova, exploding stars, universe, stars and galaxies, universe missions, space missions, outer space, NASA spacecraft, NASA missions, NuSTAR, Caltech, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Ocean Surface Topography Mission / Jason 2 Ocean Surface Topography Mission / Jason 2 The Ocean Surface Topography Mission /Jason 2 is an Earth satellite designed to make observations of ocean topography for investigations into sea-level rise and the relationship between ocean circulation and climate change. 06/20/2008 Earth OSTM / Jason 2 The Ocean Surface Topography Mission /Jason 2 is an Earth satellite designed to make observations of ocean topography for investigations into sea-level rise and the relationship between ocean circulation and climate change. The satellite also provides data on the forces behind such large-scale climate phenomena as El Niño and La Niña.

The mission is a follow-on to the French-American Jason 1 mission, which began collecting data on sea-surface levels in 1992.
global climate change, climate change, global warming, NASA satellites, Earth satellite, NASA spacecraft, Earth mission, planet Earth, Earth, OSTM, Jason 2, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
WISE Spacecraft Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer An infrared space telescope designed to detect some of the faintest objects in space, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, discovered 19 comets and more than 33,500 asteroids during its nine-month primary mission alone, snapping more than 1.8 million images. 12/14/2009 Universe WISE An infrared space telescope designed to detect some of the faintest objects in space, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, discovered 19 comets and more than 33,500 asteroids during its nine-month primary mission alone, snapping more than 1.8 million images.

The spacecraft reached the end of its onboard supply of frozen coolent in October 2010, but continued to survey the sky for asteroids and comets as part of its "warm mission" until February 2012.
universe, universe missions, WISE, Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, NASA WISE, WISE mission, infrared telescope, space telescope, stars and galaxies, WISE images, space images, space exploration, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Voyager Spacecraft Voyager 1 Voyager 1 reached interstellar space in August 2012 and is the most distant human-made object in existence. 09/05/1977 Jupiter, Saturn Jupiter, Saturn Voyager 1 reached interstellar space in August 2012 and is the most distant human-made object in existence. Launched just shortly after its twin spacecraft, Voyager 2, in 1977, Voyager 1 explored the Jovian and Saturnian systems discovering new moons, active volcanoes and a wealth of data about the outer solar system.

Voyagers 1 and 2 were designed to take advantage of a rare planetary alignment that occurs only once in 176 years and remain the most well traveled spacecraft in history. Both spacecraft carry a sort of time capsule called the Golden Record, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the story of our world to extraterrestrials.
Voyager, Voyager 1, Interstellar Mission, Where is Voyager, Voyager mission, longest space mission, farthest space mission, Jupiter, Saturn, space exploration, NASA history, JPL history, heliosphere, heliosheath, NASA Voyager, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Earth Radar in Flight Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar The Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, is an imaging radar instrument that collects key measurements of Earth deformation. 08/18/2007 Earth UAVSAR The Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, is an imaging radar instrument that collects key measurements of Earth deformation. When flown over the same area multiple times, it can determine how land features have changed. So far, it has been put to work studying climate change in the Arctic and examining Earth deformation after major earthquakes and volcanoes.

The instrument is designed to fly aboard a NASA Gulfstream III aircraft and eventually on uninhabited aerial vehicles.
Earth, Earth missions, Earth instruments, aerial instruments, Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, Earth surface, Earth imaging, imaging radar, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
TES Aboard the Aura Spacecraft Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer An infrared sensor instrument aboard NASA's Aura Earth satellite, the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer, or TES, is designed to measure and investigate Earth's troposphere, the lowest level of Earth's atmosphere, and one of its key chemical components, ozone. 07/15/2004 Earth TES An infrared sensor instrument aboard NASA's Aura Earth satellite, the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer, or TES, is designed to measure and investigate Earth's troposphere, the lowest level of Earth's atmosphere, and one of its key chemical components, ozone. In 2010, scientists devised a way to use data from the instrument to also study carbon dioxide levels across the globe.

The Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer is part of a fleet of NASA instruments and spacecraft studying global climate change issues as part of the agency's Earth Observing System.
Earth, Earth missions, Earth satellites, Earth science, atmosphere, troposphere, tropospheric Emission Spectrometer, climate change, climate studies, global warming, pollution, NASA missions, JPL missions, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
SST and the Milky Way, an Artist's Concept Spitzer Space Telescope Considered a cousin of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope is designed to study the early universe in infrared light. 08/25/2003 Universe Considered a cousin of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope is designed to study the early universe in infrared light. The first telescope to see light from a planet outside our solar system, Spitzer has also made important discoveries about comets, stars, exoplanets and distant galaxies.

In 2009, Spitzer ran out of liquid coolant and began its "warm mission," refocusing its studies on determining how quickly our universe is stretching apart, and characterizing asteroids and the atmospheres of gas-giant planets.
space telescope, telescope, infrared, Spitzer, universe, galaxies, stars, space observatory, spacecraft, space missions, universe missions, Space Infrared Telescope Facility, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Artist's concept of Space VLBI Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry The Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry is a network of space- and Earth-based radio antennas that combine to create the equivalent of a telescope with a diameter more than two-and-a-half times the diameter of Earth. 02/12/1997 Universe Space VLBI The Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry is a network of space- and Earth-based radio antennas that combine to create the equivalent of a telescope with a diameter more than two-and-a-half times the diameter of Earth. The powerful system provides astronomers with extremely detailed images of distant astronomical objects.

The lynchpin of the network is Japan's Haruka astronomy satellite, which launched in February 1997 and enables communications between space and ground telescopes in the network.
universe, stars, galaxies, quasars, jets, VLBI, space VLBI, very long baseline interferometry, HALCA, Japan, JAXA, astronomy, telescopes, DSN, deep space network, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
QuikScat Quick Scatterometer The Quick Scatterometer, or QuikScat, is an Earth satellite designed to provide valuable data on ocean winds that revolutionized environmental predictions and weather forecasting. 06/19/1999 Earth QuikScat The Quick Scatterometer, or QuikScat, is an Earth satellite designed to provide valuable data on ocean winds that revolutionized environmental predictions and weather forecasting. Designed as a speedy replacement for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-1 and its NASA Scatterometer instrument, QuikScat was conceived, developed and launched in less than two years. The satellite is part of NASA's Earth Observing System monitoring global climate change and was designed as a two-year mission, but spent 10 years in operation until it stopped collecting wind data in 2009 due to an age-related failure of a mechanism that spins the scatterometer antenna.

The data QuikScat collected has become such an intrinsic piece of weather predictions, including hurricane monitoring, that NASA has quickly begun preparations to launch a replacement instrument to the International Space Station in 2014. The new instrument, called ISS-RapidScat, was conceived with hardware originally built to test parts of QuikScat to allow the agency to cost-effectively and quickly put the replacement instrument in orbit.
Earth, Earth missions, Earth satellite, satellites, winds, sea winds, QuikScat, Earth's oceans, ocean, sea, sea wind, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 (Artist Concept) Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, or OCO-2, is an Earth satellite mission designed to study the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide globally and provide scientists with a better idea of how carbon is contributing to climate change. 07/02/2014 Earth OCO-2 The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, or OCO-2, is an Earth satellite mission designed to study the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide globally and provide scientists with a better idea of how carbon is contributing to climate change. The mission launched July 2, 2014, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and is one of five NASA Earth science launches in 2014.

Starting about six weeks into its orbit, the satellite will begin gathering detailed global measurements -- around 100,000 -- of the Earth's carbon every day, answering important questions about precisely where carbon is coming from and where it's being stored. OCO-2 is a replacement for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, which was scheduled to launch in early 2009, but was unsuccessful due to a launch vehicle failure.
Earth, Earth missions, planet Earth, climate, climate change, NASA missions, spacecraft, space missions, space exploration, carbon, OCO, OCO-2, New, OCO, Orbiting Carbon Observatory, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Artist's concept of SeaWinds SeaWinds The SeaWinds instrument, which flies on NASA's Quick Scatterometer Earth satellite, is a specialized microwave radar that measures near-surface wind velocity and cloud cover over Earth's oceans. 06/19/1999 Earth The SeaWinds instrument, which flies on NASA's Quick Scatterometer Earth satellite, is a specialized microwave radar that measures near-surface wind velocity and cloud cover over Earth's oceans.

The instrument is designed to improve weather predictions and models, in part to help plan for and anticipate extreme weather conditions such as floods, hurricanes and tsunamis.
Earth missions, Earth satellite, Earth instruments, spacecraft instruments, Japanese space agency, Midori 2, ADEOS 2, ADEOS II, SeaWinds, Earth ocean, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Voyager Spacecraft Voyager 2 The Voyager 2 spacecraft, which has been in operation since 1977 and is the only spacecraft to have ever visited Uranus and Neptune, is currently making its way to interstellar space, where its twin spacecraft, Voyager 1, has resided since August 2012. 08/20/1977 Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune The Voyager 2 spacecraft, which has been in operation since 1977 and is the only spacecraft to have ever visited Uranus and Neptune, is currently making its way to interstellar space, where its twin spacecraft, Voyager 1, has resided since August 2012. During its travels through the outer solar system, Voyager 2 visited all four gas giant planets, and also discovered and photographed many of the planets' moons.

The spacecraft's flyby of Neptune in 1989 set it on a course below the elliptic plane that will eventually take it to interstellar space. In 1998, engineers switched off the spacecraft's nonessential instruments to conserve power. Data from at least some of the six instruments still in operation should be received until at least 2025.
Voyager, Voyager 1, Interstellar Mission, Where is Voyager, Voyager mission, longest space mission, farthest space mission, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, space exploration, NASA history, JPL history, heliosphere, heliosheath, NASA Voyager, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment The Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment is an experimental technology on the Earth Observer 1 spacecraft that can autonomously make decisions about what data to collect, process that data and send it back to Earth. 06/15/2004 Earth ASE The Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment is an experimental technology on the Earth Observer 1 spacecraft that can autonomously make decisions about what data to collect, process that data and send it back to Earth.

The Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment was created as part of Space Technology 6, a project to develop advanced systems that would let spacecraft of the future be more autonomous. It was uplinked to the Earth Observer 1 spacecraft virtually in 2004.
NASA instruments, space instruments, Earth instruments, Earth spacecraft, spacecraft, Earth communications, ASE, Sciencecraft, Space Technology 6, New Millennium Program, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science The Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science, or OPALS, is a technology demonstration aboard the International Space Station designed to test the use of focused laser energy for space communications. 04/18/2014 Earth OPALS The Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science, or OPALS, is a technology demonstration aboard the International Space Station designed to test the use of focused laser energy for space communications. OPALS arrived at the space station on April 20, 2014, aboard SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft and is slated to run for a prime mission of 90 days.

A test of the new technology, which engineers predict will vastly improve the data rates for future spacecraft communications, was performed on June 5, 2014, when NASA successfully beamed a high-definition video message of "Hello, World!" 260 miles from the International Space Station to Earth.
OPALS