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Image Name Short Description Launch Date Target Acronym Destination Summary Keywords
NISAR Radar Concept NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar Using advanced radar imaging that will provide an unprecedented, detailed view of Earth, the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or NISAR, satellite is designed to observe and take measurements of some of the planet's most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides. 2020 Earth NISAR Using advanced radar imaging that will provide an unprecedented, detailed view of Earth, the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or NISAR, satellite is designed to observe and take measurements of some of the planet's most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

Data collected from NISAR will reveal information about the evolution and state of Earth's crust, help scientists better understand our planet's processes and changing climate, and aid future resource and hazard management. The mission is a partnership between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization.
severe weather, natural disasters, earthquakes, volcanoes, tornados, wildfires, hurricanes, space missions, NASA missions, Earth satellite, climate change, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
James Webb Space Telescope Mid-Infrared Instrument Designed to play a key role in NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the Mid-Infrared Instrument, or MIRI, will image stars and galaxies in infrared light. 2018 Universe MIRI Designed to play a key role in NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the Mid-Infrared Instrument, or MIRI, will image stars and galaxies in infrared light. Data from the instrument will contribute to investigations about the evolution of the universe and the search for the first-ever episode of star formation, or "first light."

The James Webb Space Telescope is under development and working toward a 2018 launch date.
Universe, space missions, space telescope, James Webb, MIRI, James Webb instruments, black holes, Big Bang, space exploration, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
InSight Lander InSight The InSight mission (formerly called GEMS), would place a lander on Mars that would be designed to drill beneath the surface and investigate the planet's deep interior to better understand Mars' evolution as a rocky planet. 03/2016 Mars InSight Mars The InSight mission (formerly called GEMS), would place a lander on Mars that would be designed to drill beneath the surface and investigate the planet's deep interior to better understand Mars' evolution as a rocky planet. As part of its investigation, InSight would use a seismometer and a heat-flow probe to study the interior structure of the Red Planet.

InSight was provisionally selected for funding through NASA's Discovery Program for launch in 2016 and the spacecraft design would be based on NASA's successful Phoenix Mars lander mission.
Mars, Mars missions, NASA Discovery Program, Discovery missions, proposed missions, NASA mission proposals, InSight, Seismology on Mars, GEMS, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Cold Atom Laboratory Makes Use of Microgravity Cold Atom Laboratory A facility designed to fly aboard the International Space Station, the Cold Atom Laboratory, or CAL, will make use the space station's unique microgravity environment to observe quantum phenomena that would otherwise be undetectable from Earth. 04/2016 Universe CAL International Space Station A facility designed to fly aboard the International Space Station, the Cold Atom Laboratory, or CAL, will make use the space station's unique microgravity environment to observe quantum phenomena that would otherwise be undetectable from Earth. The laboratory will be available for use by multiple scientific investigators and is designed to be maintained on orbit.

The Cold Atom Laboratory, which is scheduled for launch and installment on the International Space Station in April 2016, will also serve as an experiment in the use of laser-cooled atoms for future quantum sensors.
International Space Station, experiments, Cold Atom Lab, CAL, quantum physics, quantum mechanics, astronomy, universe, cooled atoms, NASA, JPL, pathways experiment, NASAJPL
Decoding Gravity Disturbance Reduction System The Disturbance Reduction System, or DRS, designed as part of the Space Technology 7 project, is an experimental system for measuring gravitational waves in space, which are thought to contain important data about the history of the universe. 2014 Gravitational waves DRS The Disturbance Reduction System, or DRS, designed as part of the Space Technology 7 project, is an experimental system for measuring gravitational waves in space, which are thought to contain important data about the history of the universe.

The system will be incorporated into the European Space Agency's LISA Pathfinder spacecraft, launching in 2014 to test key technology for a future ESA/NASA Laser Interferometer Space Antenna mission.
technology, spacecraft navigation, navigation, DRS, Disturbance Reduction System, LISA, LISA Pathfinder, ESA, European Space Agency, Space Technology 7, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite Soil Moisture Active Passive Soil Moisture Active Passive, or SMAP, scheduled to launch in January 2015, is an Earth satellite mission to measure and map Earth's soil moisture and freeze/thaw state to better understand terrestrial water, carbon and energy cycles. Jan. 29, 2015 (under review) Earth SMAP Soil Moisture Active Passive, or SMAP, scheduled to launch in January 2015, is an Earth satellite mission to measure and map Earth's soil moisture and freeze/thaw state to better understand terrestrial water, carbon and energy cycles.

Using an advanced radar and radiometer, the satellite will be able to peer beneath clouds, vegetation and other surface features to monitor water and energy fluxes, helping improve flood predictions and drought monitoring. Data from the three-year mission will also play a crucial role in understanding changes in water availability, food production and other societal impacts of climate change.
Earth, climate change, climate studies, soil moisture, SMAP, Soil Moisture Active Passive, Earth satellites, NASA satellites, global climate change, global warming, climate, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Jason 3 Spacecraft Jason 3 Extending the timeline of ocean surface topography measurements begun by the Topex/Poseidon and Jason 1 and 2 satellites, Jason 3 will make highly detailed measurements of sea-level on Earth to gain insight into ocean circulation and climate change. 03/2015 Earth Extending the timeline of ocean surface topography measurements begun by the Topex/Poseidon and Jason 1 and 2 satellites, Jason 3 will make highly detailed measurements of sea-level on Earth to gain insight into ocean circulation and climate change.

The satellite is scheduled to launch in 2015, and like its predecessors (Jason 1 and 2, and Topex/Poseidon), is a cooperative of agencies and organizations around the world.
Earth, satellite, climate change, global climate change, global warming, NASA Earth science, ocean, ocean topography, sea level, oceanography, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL, Eyes on the Earth
Surface Water and Ocean Topography Spacecraft Surface Water and Ocean Topography Designed to make the first-ever global survey of Earth's surface water, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography, or SWOT, satellite will collect detailed measurements of how water bodies on Earth change over time. 2020 Earth SWOT Designed to make the first-ever global survey of Earth's surface water, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography, or SWOT, satellite will collect detailed measurements of how water bodies on Earth change over time. The satellite will survey at least 90 percent of the globe, studying Earth's lakes, rivers, reservoirs and oceans at least twice every 21 days to improve ocean circulation models, and weather and climate predictions, and aid in freshwater management around the world.

One of 15 missions listed in the 2007 National Research Council Decadal Survey as missions that NASA should implement in the coming decade, SWOT will be jointly developed and managed by NASA, the French Space Agency (CNES), and the Canadian Space Agency.
Earth, satellite, ocean, ocean topography, sea level, sea rise, climate change, global climate change, global warming, weather, climate, Eyes on the Earth, NASA satellites, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
International Space Station Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3, or OCO-3, is a future space instrument designed to investigate important questions about the distribution of carbon dioxide on Earth as it relates to growing urban populations and changing patterns of fossil fuel combustion. To be determined Earth OCO-3 The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3, or OCO-3, is a future space instrument designed to investigate important questions about the distribution of carbon dioxide on Earth as it relates to growing urban populations and changing patterns of fossil fuel combustion.

NASA plans to develop and assemble the instrument using spare materials from the successful development and launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 in 2014 and host the instrument on the International Space Station or another space-based platform.
Earth, carbon dioxide, CO2, pollution, fossil fuels, population growth, Eyes on the Earth, JPL missions, NASA missions, Earth missions, Earth satellites, OCO, OCO 2, OCO 3, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
ISS-RapidScat Artist Concept ISS-RapidScat The ISS-RapidScat instrument is a speedy and cost-effective replacement for NASA's QuikScat Earth satellite, which monitored ocean winds to provide essential measurements used in weather predictions, including hurricane monitoring. 09/20/2014 Earth The ISS-RapidScat instrument is a speedy and cost-effective replacement for NASA's QuikScat Earth satellite, which monitored ocean winds to provide essential measurements used in weather predictions, including hurricane monitoring. So essential were QuikScat's measurements that when the satellite stopped collecting wind data in late 2009, NASA was challenged to quickly and cost-effectively conceive of a replacement. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the agency's station program came up with a solution that uses the framework of the International Space Station and reuses hardware originally built to test parts of QuikScat to create an instrument for a fraction of the cost and time it would take to build and launch a new satellite.

The resulting ISS-RapidScat instrument is slated to launch in 2014 and will fly aboard the International Space Station to measure Earth's ocean surface wind speed and direction.
RapidScat, QuikScat, NASA Scatterometer, hurricanes, wind, ocean winds, weather, weather forecast, Earth satellite, satellite, wind speed, wind direction, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Artist's Concept of Mars 2020 Rover Mars 2020 The Mars 2020 mission is a future rover designed to investigate key questions about the habitability of Mars, and assess natural resources and hazards in preparation for future human expeditions to the Red Planet. 2020 Mars Mars The Mars 2020 mission is a future rover designed to investigate key questions about the habitability of Mars, and assess natural resources and hazards in preparation for future human expeditions to the Red Planet.

The science instruments aboard the rover will enable scientists to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth in the future. Analysis of such samples in laboratories here on Earth will help determine whether life existed on Mars and help inform planning for human exploration there. The mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet.
Mars, Mars 2020, 2020, rover, Mars rover, mission, future rover, red planet, space exploration, JPL, NASA, NASAJPL
Artist rendering of GRACE-FO spacecraft Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on (GRACE-FO) mission is a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). 2017 Earth GRACE-FO The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on (GRACE-FO) mission is a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). GRACE-FO is a successor to the original GRACE mission, which began orbiting Earth on March 17, 2002. GRACE-FO will carry on the extremely successful work of its predecessor while testing a new technology designed to dramatically improve the already remarkable precision of its measurement system.

The GRACE missions measure variations in gravity over Earth's surface, producing a new map of the gravity field every 30 days. Thus, GRACE shows how the planet's gravity differs not only from one location to another, but also from one period of time to another.
GRACE Follow-on, (GRACE-FO),Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), Earth, water