Space Science Missions

  • ACE
    Advanced Composition Explorer

    It observes particles of solar, interplanetary, interstellar, and galactic origins, spanning the energy range from solar wind ions to galactic cosmic ray nuclei.

  • AIM
    Aeronomy of Ice

    Exploring Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMCs), also called noctilucent clouds, to find out why they form and why they are changing. 

  • C/NOFS
    Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast System

    Investigated and forecasted scintillations in the Earth's ionosphere.

  • FGST
    Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

    An international and multi-agency space mission that studies the cosmos in the energy range 10 rev-300GeV.

  • HST
    Hubble Space Telescope

    Is a space telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1009, and remains in operation.  Although not the first space telescope, Hubble is one of the largest and most versatile, and is well known as both a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy.

  • ICON
    Ionospheric Connection Explorer

    Will investigate the forces at play in the near-space environment, leading the way in understanding disturbances that can lead to severe interference with communications and GPS signals. 

  • IRIS
    Interface Region Imaging Spectograph

    Observes how solar material moves, gathers energy, and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the sun's lower atmosphere.

  • JWST
    James Web Space Telescope

    It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Band, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

  • LRO
    Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

    Robotic spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon in an eccentric polar mapping orbit.  Data collected by LRO has been described as essential for planing NASA's future human and robotic missions to the moon.

  • MMS
    Magnetosphereic Multiscale

    Investigated how the Sun's and Earth's magnetic fields connect and disconnect, explosively transferring energy from one to the other in a process that is important to the Sun, other planets, and everywhere in the Universe.

    Near Earth Objects Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer

    Harvests measurements of asteroids and comets from WISE images and provides a rich archive for searching WISE data for solar system objects.

  • NuSTAR
    Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array

    The first orbiting telescopes to focus light in the high energy X-ray (6-79keV) region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager

    To explore the basic physics of particle acceleration and explosive energy release in solar flares.

  • SDO
    Solar Dynamics Observatory

    To understand the causes of solar variability and it's impacts on Earth.  SDO is designed to help us understand 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.

  • SOHO
    Solar & Heliospheric Observatory

    Designed to study the internal structure of the Sun, its extensive outer atmosphere and the origin of the solar wind, the stream of highly ionized gas that blows continuously outward through the Solar System.

  • Solar-B
    Solar & Heliospheric Observatory

    A highly sophisticated observational satellite equipped with three advanced solar telescopes to explore the magnetic fields of the Sun.  It consists of a coordinated set of optical, extreme ultraviolet (EUV), and x-ray instruments to investigate the interaction between the Sun's magnetic field and it's corona.

    Swift Gamma-Ray Burst

    A first-of-its-kind multi-wavelength observatory dedicated to the study of gamma-ray burst (GRB) science.  Its three instruments work together to observe GRBs and afterglows in the gamma-ray, S-ray, ultraviolet, and optical wavebands.

  • TDRS (on orbit)
    Tracking and Data Relay Satellite

    On orbit, geosynchronous telecommunications satellites that support NASA Missions with the transmission of data to the ground.

  • TESS
    Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    Identifies planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, orbiting a wider range of stellar types and orbital distances.  The principal goal is to detect small planets with bright host starts in the solar neighborhood, so that detailed characterizations of the planets and their atmospheres can be performed. 

    Time History of Events Macroscale Interactions during Substorms

    Aims to resolve one of the oldest mysteries in space physics, namely to determine what physical process in near-Earth space initiates the violent eruptions if the aurora that occur during substorms in the Earth's magnetosphere.

    Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics

    Is an orbiter mission dedicated to study the dynamics of the Mesosphere and Lower Therosphere portion of the Earth's atmosphere.

  • Van Allen Probes
    Named for their discoverer

    Will study two extreme and dynamic regions of space known as the Van Allen Radiation Belts that surround Earth.

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