NASA Missions

NASA missions:

Jonathan's Space Reports -


Asteroid and Comet Missions

  • Deep Impact a robotic spacecraft mission that reads more like a story line from a science fiction movie script. Imagine intercepting a comet in deep space and using a heavy projectile to blow a hole in the celestial body, some seven stories deep and about the size of a football field.

Astrobiology Institute


July 15, 2004, NASA RELEASE : 04-217 Aura Launched, To Better Understand The Air We Breathe -- Aura, a mission dedicated to the health of the Earth's atmosphere, successfully launched today... NASA's latest Earth-observing satellite, Aura will help us understand and protect the air we breathe. ...Aura will help answer three key scientific questions: Is the Earth's protective ozone layer recovering? What are the processes controlling air quality? How is the Earth's climate changing? NASA expects early scientific data from Aura within 30-90 days.

Cassini (Mission to Saturn)

Chandra X-ray Observatory

Clementine The Clementine mission uses the Moon and a near-Earth asteroid as targets to demonstrate lightweight component and sensor performance.

Deep Impact -

Discovery Missions

Earth Observations:

Earth Science Enterprise

Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) Satellite Fast Auroral Snapshot (FAST) Explorer satellite:

GALILEO Mission to Jupiter

Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST)

Gamma Ray Satellite web site (Swift)

Genesis mission will send a spacecraft to collect Sun samples in the solar wind. After a January 2001 launch, the Genesis spacecraft will journey a million miles sunward, unfold its collectors and "sunbathe" for two years, before returning to Earth with its precious cargo. Press Kit --

HESSI -- High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager -- or

High-Energy Transient Explorer 2 -- (HETE-2) -- -- search for gamma ray bursts


International Space Station

Japan -- TRMM Web Site -- (National Space Development Agency of Japan)

JPL Current Missions --

Lunar Prospector;

Radar--Imaging Radar SIR-C:

IMAGE also -- The Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) mission is the first satellite mission dedicated to imaging the Earth's magnetosphere, the region of space controlled by the Earth's magnetic field and containing extremely tenuous plasmas of both solar and terrestrial origin.

Kepler Mission -- Search for Habitable Planets This site has a downloadable interactive Macintosh program that contains an excellent activity--the "Planet Detection Simulator"

Living With A Star

Lunar Prospector

Manned Spaceflight - - As of 2012, NASA direction is toward commercial companies providing service for manned apceflight

Mars Missions

MESSENGER -- -- MErcury Surface, Space Environment, GEochemistry, and Ranging. Mission to Mercury; launch in 2004

Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) will help to answer three of the most fundamental questions in cosmology: What are the values of the cosmological parameters of the Big Bang theory? How did structures of galaxies form in the universe? When did the first structures of galaxies form?

NEAR -- Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous,

Near Earth Asteroid program http://neo.jpl.nasa.govNOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration--meteorological and oceanographic satellite links)

Oceans Pathfinder Sea Surface Temperature Data (NOAA/NASA AVHRR): or email:

Ozone--The POLARIS mission -- seeking to understand the fundamental chemistry that dominates the naturally occuring seasonal reduction of ozone over the pole in the course of the Arctic summer. Part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, a long-term, internationally coordinated research effort to study the Earth as a global environmental system.

Pioneer 10

RadarSat Canadian project launched on Space Shuttle (10/97)
Antarctic ice sheet --is it advancing or retreating? -- comprehensive view of how the Antarctic ice sheet moves and changes and may help answer some fundamental questions about this mysterious place at the end of the world, including whether the ice sheet is advancing or retreating... -- SPACE MAPPING MISSION CATCHES ANTARCTICA IN MOTION (NASA RELEASE: 01-24 -- Feb 21, 2001)


Satellites for Solar-Terrestrial observations

Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) ocean color images--ocean color largely determined by the concentration of microscopic marine plants, phytoplankton. Phytoplankton concentration is important to climate change research and to commercial fishing.

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission -- produced topographic maps of Earth 30 times as precise as the best global maps in use previously.

SOFIA (Airborne Telescope):

SOHO (NASA-European Space Agency Solar Heliospheric Observatory): --

Solar Data Analysis Center at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland USA--Center for various missions focused on the Sun

Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility -- one of the "great space observatories"

Space Shuttle

Space Station (International) Stardust--Project Stardust (Comet Sample Return Mission)

Starshine A small, optically reflective spherical ÒSTARSHINEÓ student spacecraft, built by the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, was deployed by NASA from a Hitchhiker canister in Space Shuttle Discovery on June 5, 1999. The satellite is covered with 878 front-surface aluminum mirrors that were machined by technology students in Utah and polished by 25,030 students in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the U.S.A. and Zimbabwe.

STEREO - The STEREO mission will provide a totally new perspective on solar eruptions by capturing images of coronal mass ejections and background events from two observatories at the same time.

Surveyor lunar mission

Terra the flagship in NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS), launched on December 18, 1999, and collecting science data since February 24, 2000.

Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) (a space telescope concept, to find small earth-like planets at nearby stars). See also

THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) web page

THEMIS -- Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms mission -- -- A Medium Explorer mission, THEMIS will fly five small spacecraft through explosive geomagnetic disturbances to solve the mystery of what triggers the colorful eruptions of the Northern and Southern lights. These violent "substorms" reflect major reconfigurations of near-Earth space and have significant implications for space weather, affecting satellites and terrestrial communications.

TIMED: NASA SPACECRAFT WILL USE LOFTY PERCH TO STUDY GATEWAY TO SPACE -- -- A NASA mission will soon reveal the well-kept secrets of a mysterious region situated 40 to 110 miles (about 60 to 180 kilometers) above the Earth called the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere/Ionosphere (MLTI), where electrical currents surge and auroras cast an eerie glow over the Northern and Southern hemispheres. RELEASE: 01-226 Mission site:

TOMS -- -- (Ozone, Aerosols, Erythemal UV, Reflectivity)

TOPEX-Poseidon: -- ftp site:
TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason,

Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) to explore the three-dimensional magnetic structures that emerge through the visible surface of the Sun - the Photosphere - and define both the geometry and dynamics of the upper solar atmosphere: the Transition Region and Corona.

Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)


Universities Space Research Association

Vikings 1 and 2


X-ray Timing Explorer (XTE) (Goddard Space Flight Center)