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