Goddard Space Flight Center Present Missions

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Present Missions

  • Artist concept of ACE

    ACE: Advanced Composition Explorer  →

    The Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) is an Explorer mission that studies particles arriving from the Sun, interstellar, and galactic sources to contribute to our understanding of the formation and evolution of the solar system as well as the astrophysical processes involved.

  • artist concept of Adeos II

    Adeos II: SeaWinds  →

    The SeaWinds instruments are designed to acquire accurate, high-resolution, continuous, all-weather measurements of global (land, ice, and ocean) radar cross-section and near-surface vector winds over the ice-free global oceans.

  • artist concept of AIM

    AIM: Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere

    The AIM satellite mission is designed to explore Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMCs), also called noctilucent clouds, to find out why they form and why they are changing.

  • Artist concept of Aqua


    Aqua, Latin for "water," is named for the large amount of information it is designed to collect about Earth's water cycle, including evaporation from the oceans, water vapor in the air, clouds, precipitation, soil moisture, ice, and more.

  • artist concept of Aquarius


    Aquarius is a focused satellite mission to measure sea surface salinity (salt levels).

  • artist concept of Astro E2/Suzaku


    Astro-E2/Suzaku is a satellite for studying X-rays emitted by stars, galaxies, and black holes.

  • artist concept of Aura


    Aura, Latin for "breeze," is designed to investigate questions about ozone trends, air quality changes and their ties to climate change.

  • artist concept of CALIPSO


    The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation mission provides insight into the role that clouds and atmospheric aerosols play in regulating Earth's weather, climate, and air quality. CALIPSO is a joint mission between NASA and CNES, the French space agency.

  • Model of CNOFS


    NASA is collaborating with the Air Force on CINDI. The satellite is designed to study the elements that influence space weather near Earth's equator.

  • artist concept of CloudSat


    CloudSat provides observations that advance our understanding of cloud abundance, distribution, structure, and radiative properties.

  • artist concept of Cluster

    Cluster  →

    Cluster, a constellation of four spacecraft flying in formation around Earth, relayed the most detailed information ever about how the solar wind affects our planet.

  • artist concept of EO 1

    EO-1  →

    Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) was the first satellite in NASA's New Millennium Program Earth Observing series. The EO-1 mission developed techniques for space-based Earth observations.

  • artist concept of Fermi

    Fermi Space Telescope

    Formerly known as GLAST, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope gives astronomers a superior tool to study how black holes, notorious for pulling matter in, can accelerate jets of gas outward at fantastic speeds.

  • artist concept of GALEX


    The Galaxy Evolution Explorer will observe hundreds of thousands of nearby and distant galaxies in ultraviolet (UV) light. Additionally, GALEX will view the stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

  • image of Geotail

    GeoTail  →

    The primary purpose of the GeoTail mission is to study the structure and dynamics of the tail region of the magnetosphere with a comprehensive set of scientific instruments.

  • GPM artist concept

    Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)

    This international satellite mission will set a new standard for precipitation measurements from space, providing observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. The GPM mission data will advance our understanding of the water and energy cycles and extend the use of precipitation data to directly benefit society.

  • artist concept of GOES M

    GOES-M  →

    The GOES I-M satellites are the primary element of U.S. weather monitoring and forecast operations and is a key component of NOAA's National Weather Service operations and modernization program.

  • artist concept of GOES N


    GOES provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric "triggers" of severe weather conditions, such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms and hurricanes.

  • Artist's concept of GOES-O in orbit.


    GOES satellites provide the familiar weather pictures seen on U.S. television newscasts every day.

  • artist concept of GRACE

    GRACE  →

    The primary goal of the GRACE mission is to accurately map variations in the Earth's gravity field over its 5-year lifetime.

  • artist concept of Hinode


    Hinode (formerly Solar-B) studies the interaction between the sun's magnetic field and high-temperature, ionized atmosphere.

  • Hubble Space Telescope

    Hubble Space Telescope

    Goddard is responsible for HST project management, including mission and science operations, servicing missions, and all associated development activities. Hubble celebrates its 20th anniversary in orbit this April.

  • Artist concept of IBEX


    The IBEX mission will study the global interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium.

  • artist concept of ICESat

    ICESat  →

    Are the ice sheets that still blanket Earth's poles growing or shrinking? ICESat was designed to help answer this question.

  • artist concept of INTEGRAL


    ESA's International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory is detecting some of the most energetic radiation that comes from space. INTEGRAL is an ESA mission in cooperation with Russia and the United States.

  • Artist's rendering of the IRIS mission.

    Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph  →

    The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) explorer goal is to understand how the solar atmosphere is energized. The IRIS investigation combines advanced numerical modeling with a high resolution UV imaging spectrograph.

  • LAGEOS 1

    LAGEOS-1  →

    The LAGEOS satellites are designed to provide an orbiting benchmark for geodynamical studies of Earth. LAGEOS-1 was launched by Italy in 1976.

  • artist concept of LandSat 7

    Landsat 7  →

    A satellite used to acquire images of the Earth's land surface and surrounding coastal regions.

  • artist concept of Landsat 8

    Landsat 8

    Landsat 8 is NASA's eighth satellite in the Landsat series and continues the Landsat program's critical role in monitoring, understanding and managing the resources needed for human sustainment such as food, water and forests. Landsat 8 was formerly known as LDCM (Landsat Data Continuity Mission).

  • artist concept of LRO


    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is an unmanned mission to create the comprehensive atlas of the moon's features and resources necessary to design and build a lunar outpost. LRO focuses on the selection of safe landing sites, identification of lunar resources and the study of how lunar radiation will affect humans.

  • Artist's rendering of the MMS mission.

    Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission  →

    The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission will use four identical spacecraft, variably spaced in Earth orbit, to make three-dimensional measurements of magnetospheric boundary regions and examine the process of magnetic reconnection.

  • Artists conception of MAVEN orbiting Mars

    Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission is part of NASA's Mars Scout program. The mission will explore the Red Planet's upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind.

  • artist concept of MESSENGER


    MESSENGER will help us answer key questions about Mercury.

  • artist concept of New Horizons

    New Horizons

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will be the first spacecraft to visit Pluto and its moon Charon.

  • artist concept of NOAA N


    NOAA-N is the fourth in the series of support dedicated microwave instruments for the generation of temperature, moisture, surface and hydrological products in cloudy regions where visible and infrared (IR) instruments have decreased capability.

  • Artists rendering of the NuSTAR mission.


    NuSTAR is now in orbit, taking focused images of the high-energy X-ray sky.

  • Operation Ice Bridge Logo

    Operation Ice Bridge

    Operation Ice Bridge, a six-year NASA field campaign, is the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown and serves as a bridge between retiring satellite mission ICESat and its replacement ICESat-II scheduled for launch in 2015.

  • Artist's concept of the RBSP spacecraft in orbit

    Radiation Belt Storm Probes Mission

    The Radiation Belt Storm Probes Mission will provide unprecedented insight into the physical dynamics of the radiation belts and give scientists the data they need to make predictions of changes in this critical region of space.

  • artist concept of RHESSI

    RHESSI  →

    The primary scientific objective of RHESSI is to study the processes that take place in the solar atmosphere during a flare.

  • artist concept of RXTE

    Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE)

    The Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) is a satellite that observes the fast-moving, high-energy worlds of black holes, neutron stars, X-ray pulsars and bursts of X-rays that light up the sky and then disappear forever.

  • Artist concept of SDO


    The Solar Dynamics Observatory will further our understanding of the sun's influence on Earth and near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time, and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

  • artist concept of SOHO


    The Solar and Heliophysic Observatory was designed to study the internal structure of the sun, its extensive outer atmosphere and the origin of the solar wind.


    SORCE  →

    SORCE is a NASA-sponsored satellite mission that is designed to provide state-of-the-art measurements of incoming X-ray, ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and total solar radiation.

  • artist concept of STEREO probes


    The STEREO mission traces the flow of energy and matter from the sun to Earth with two identically equipped spacecraft to provide revolutionary 3-D imaging of coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

  • artist concept of NPP

    Suomi NPP

    The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) mission represents a critical first step in building the next-generation Earth-observing satellite system that will collect data on both long-term climate change and short-term weather conditions.

  • artist concept of Swift


    The Swift mission is dedicated to the study of gamma-ray bursts.

  • artist concept of TDRS

    TDRS  →

    The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System consists of a constellation of geosynchronous satellites and associated ground systems that operate as a bent-pipe relay system between customer platforms and customer ground facilities. Future TDRS satellites will help replenish the fleet.

  • artist concept of Terra


    Terra (formerly EOS AM-1) is the flagship satellite of NASA's Earth observing systems. Terra provides global data on land, oceans and the atmosphere, as well as their interactions with solar radiation and with one another.

  • artist concept of THEMIS


    The THEMIS satellites help scientists answer questions about changes in aurorae, commonly called the Northern Lights or the Southern Lights, depending on their location.

  • artist concept of TIMED

    TIMED  →

    TIMED studies the region of Earth's atmosphere between 60 kilometers and 180 kilometers up. This region, called the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere/Ionosphere (MLTI), is the least understood and explored part of our atmosphere.

  • artist concept of TRACE

    TRACE  →

    The Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) explores the three-dimensional magnetic structures of the sun's photosphere. It also examines both the geometry and dynamics of the upper solar atmosphere, called the transition region and corona.

  • artist concept of TRMM

    TRMM  →

    TRMM is particularly devoted to examining rainfall in Earth's tropical and subtropical regions. The rainfall in these regions makes up about two-thirds of Earth's total. It is partly responsible for driving our weather and climate system.

  • image of TWINS magnetosphere data

    TWINS A/B  →

    The Two Wide-angle Imaging Neutral-atom Spectrometers (TWINS) mission provides a new capability for stereoscopically imaging the magnetosphere.

  • artist concept of Wind

    Wind  →

    Wind was the first of two NASA spacecraft in the Global Geospace Science initiative and part of the ISTP Project. The science objectives of the WIND mission are to provide complete plasma, energetic particle, and magnetic field input for magnetospheric and ionospheric studies.

  • artist concept of WMAP

    WMAP  →

    The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe mission is designed to determine the geometry, content and evolution of the universe.

  • XMM-Newton  →

    The XMM-Newton mission will help scientists solve a number of cosmic mysteries, ranging from the enigmatic black holes to the origins of the universe itself.

Page Last Updated: June 26th, 2014
Page Editor: Rob Garner