The Year in Pictures -- 2006
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on left, artist concept of Topex/Poseidon, on right, CloudSat launch An End and a Beginning
After a a successful 13-year mission providing unprecedented observations of Earth's oceans, the Topex/Poseidon mission (on left, artist's concept) came to an end. The oceanographic studies of the satellite, a joint endeavour of NASA and Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, are being carried on by the Jason satellite.

In April, NASA's CloudSat and Calipso launched (on right). These missions are providing new, 3-D perspectives on Earth's clouds and airborne particles called aerosols.
  Jet Propulsion Laboratory
   California Institute of Technology