Managing water resources. Protecting public health. Creating global impact.

Studying Earth from space is a critical part of NASA’s mission. By delivering high-quality observations of our planet via Earth science satellites and instruments, NASA data benefits society and advances Earth science research.

Developed in support of NASA Earth’s Applied Sciences Program, the associated mission applications programs are a key activity of most Earth science missions – including the Early Adopter programs. A main goal of these programs is to use data from NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites to inform real-world applications, foster new partnerships, connect with like-minded applied science professionals, and generate inventive solutions that aid society.

Explore the list of NASA missions below to learn how to you can make use of Earth science information in your work.


Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Mission

PACE will study the Earth and its climate by taking hyperspectral and multi-angular polarimetric measurements of the land, ocean, and atmosphere systems. 

An artist’s depiction of the PACE
spacecraft.Credits: NASA
Scientific Visualization Studio

Contacts: Erin Urquhart, Natasha Sadoff
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: Woody Turner
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): OB.DAAC

PACE Mission PACE Applications

 


Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) Mission

IceSat-2 is a laser altimetry mission providing measurements of our Earth’s surface elevation globally.

ICESAT-2 Mission
An artist’s depiction of the ICESat-2 spacecraft.
Credits: NASA

Contacts: Sabrina Delgado Arias, Molly Brown
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: Woody Turner
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): NSIDC

ICESAT-2 Mission ICESAT-2 Applications

 


Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) Initiative

The goal for NASA’s CMS Initiative is to prototype the development of capabilities necessary to support stakeholder needs for Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) of carbon stocks and fluxes. 

A researcher team meeting
for the CMS initiative.
Credits: NASA

Contact: Edil Sepulveda Carlo
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: Ken Jucks and Hank Margolis

CMS Mission CMS Applications


Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission

The U.S. – European SWOT mission will use advanced interferometry to observe the Earth’s surface waters and ocean to provide the first-ever global survey of land-based water levels from a satellite, as well as unprecedented accuracy of ocean surface topography. 

An artist’s rendition of SWOT.
Credits: NASA JPL


Contacts: Margaret Srinivasan
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: Brad Doorn
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): PO

SWOT Mission SWOT Applications


Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) Mission

The Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) represents the first time NASA has partnered with epidemiologists and health organizations on a satellite mission to study human health and improve lives. 

An artist’s rendition of the views possible with
MAIA. Credits: NASA JPL

Contacts: Abigail Nastan
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: John Haynes
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): ASDC

MAIA Mission MAIA Applications


Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) Mission

Launching in November 2022, the TEMPO spectrometer will observe pollution from space at hourly intervals and high spatial resolution over a Field of Regard (FoR) encompassing Greater North America. TEMPO will greatly advance the monitoring of the rapidly varying emissions and chemistry that governs our air quality. 

An example of the monitoring ability
of TEMPO. Credits: NASA

Contacts: Aaron Naeger
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: John Haynes
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): ASDC

TEMPO Mission TEMPO Early Adopters


Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) Applications

ECOSTRESS measures the temperature of plants and use that information to better understand how plants respond to heat and water stress. There are numerous applications for ECOSTRESS thermal data including informing agriculture/irrigation decisions, urban heat mitigation, mineralogy, volcanoes and aquatic ecosystems management. 

​ A view of Garden City, Kansas showing
center pivot irrigation; a wider view is
pictured in the upper right.
Credits: NASA JPL ​

Contacts: Christine Lee
Early Adoption Recruiting: Contact team for details on ECOSTRESS Community of Practice
Applications Program Manager: Woody Turner
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): LP

ECOSTRESS APPLICATIONS ECOSTRESS EARLY ADOPTERS


Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) Mission

SBG will enable improved understanding of climate changes that impact food and agriculture, habitation, and natural resources, by answering open questions about the fluxes of carbon, water, nutrients, and energy within and between ecosystems and the atmosphere, the ocean, and the Earth. 

A Landsat 8 image showing sediment in the
Mackenzie River in 2017. Credits: NASA Earth Observatory

Contacts: Christine Lee, Jeff Luvall, Stephanie Schollaert Uz
Early Adoption Recruiting: TBD
Applications Program Manager: Woody Turner
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): TBD

SBG Mission SBG Applications


Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission

Building upon the success of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), the GPM mission is helping to advance our understanding of Earth's water and energy cycles, improve forecasting of extreme events that cause natural hazards and disasters, and extend current capabilities in using accurate and timely information of precipitation to directly benefit society. 

An artist’s depiction of the GPM mission
over a hurricane. Credits: NASA

Contacts: Andrea Portier, Dalia Kirschbaum
Early Adoption Recruiting: No
Applications Program Manager: John Haynes
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): GESDISC

GPM Mission GPM Applications


Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission

SMAP mission is an orbiting observatory that measures the amount of water in the surface soil everywhere on Earth. Launched in January 2015, the mission has been delivering high quality soil moisture data and is in the extended operations phase of the missions. 

An artist’s depiction of the SMAP mission.
Credits: NASA JPL

Contact: Karyn Tabor
Early Adoption Recruiting: No
Applications Program Manager: Brad Doorn
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): ASF, NSIDC

SMAP Mission SMAP EARLY ADOPTERS


NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Mission

The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is an orbiting observatory carrying L-band and S-band SARs that image nearly all Earth's land and much of the sea ice from orbits repeated every 12 days. It is used for measuring surface deformation, forest biomass and disturbance and other ecosystem properties, and movement of glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice. 

An artist’s depiction of the NASA-ISRO
mission. Credits: NASA

Contacts: Batu Osmanoglu, Ekaterina Tymofyeyeva, Cathleen Jones
Early Adoption Recruiting: Yes
Applications Program Manager: David Green, Gerald Bawden
NASA Data Access (Responsible DAAC): ASF

NISAR Mission NISAR Early Adopters