NASA - Science Missions

April 1, 2009, 10:01 pm
Source: NASA - Science Missions
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NASA Science Missions
NASA Science Missions

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (Space Act) established NASA as an aerospace research and development agency that sponsors and conducts flight missions to obtain data in furtherance of its objectives.

In NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD), flight missions range from suborbital projects—including balloons, sounding rockets, and airplanes—to interplanetary probes and flagship observatories.  All investigations and missions selected and flown must respond to Agency goals and strategic objectives.  Mission opportunities are open to all proposers, within fixed rules, via public announcement, and selections are based primarily on scientific and technical merit as evaluated by independent peer review.  Foreign partners are frequent and valued participants in joint missions.  The partnerships are generally conducted on a cooperative, no-exchange-of-funds basis.  NASA also works closely with a number of other Federal agencies to implement and support our flight missions.  To learn more about mission planning and development, see Section 3.3 of the Science Plan for NASA's Science Mission Directorate 2007 - 2016 (PDF 5.1 MB).

Missions are divided into four divisions: Astrophysics, Earth, Helliophysics, and Planets.

This page provides a brief listing of all SMD missions, with links to each for more detail.

 


Astrophysics Missions (50)

The exploration into the origins of our solar system ... of our very existence, requires the development of complex space missions.

 

A-Z Launch Date Phase
ASCA - ASCA was the first X-ray astronomy mission to combine imaging capability with a broad pass band, good spectral resolution, and a large effective area. The mission was also... February 20, 1993 Past
December 02, 1990 Past
December 02, 1990 Past
April 05, 1991 Past
July 23, 1999 Operating
January 12, 2003 Past
November 18, 1989 Past
January 13, 1993 Past
June 07, 1992 Past
June 11, 2008 Operating
June 24, 1999 Past
April 28, 2003 Operating
April 20, 2004 Past
February 12, 1997 Past
April 29, 2009 Development
October 09, 2000 Past
August 08, 1989 Past
April 24, 1990 Operating
October 29, 1998 Past
October 17, 2002 Operating
November 17, 1995 Past
January 26, 1978 Past
  Under Study
  Under Study
June 30, 2013 Development
May 21, 1975 Past
  Operating
March 06, 2009 Operating
  Development
November 17, 1998 Past
  Under Study
August 15, 2011 Development
  Past
November 20, 1996 Past
April 29, 2009 Development
June 01, 1990 Past
December 30, 1995 Operating
November 04, 1996 Past
  Under Study
  Development
August 25, 2003 Operating
December 01, 2009 Development
July 10, 2005 Operating
December 06, 1998 Past
November 20, 2004 Operating
  Under Study
March 04, 1999 Past
November 01, 2009 Development
June 30, 2001 Operating
December 10, 1999 Operating

 


Earth Missions (59)

From our vantage point above the Earth, we can view Earth as a whole system, observe the results of complex interactions, and begin to understand how our planet is changing.

Senior Reviews for Earth Operating Missions:

 Visit the Decadal Surveys page for CLARREO, ICESat-II, DESDynI, SMAP reports.

 

A-Z Launch Date Phase
December 20, 1999 Operating
August 17, 1996 Past
May 04, 2002 Operating
May 22, 2010 Development
March 24, 1992 Past
December 07, 1966 Past
July 15, 2004 Operating
April 28, 2006 Operating
July 15, 2000 Past
TBD Under Study
April 28, 2006 Operating
July 25, 1990 Past
TBD Under Study
August 03, 1981 Past
November 21, 2000 Operating
October 05, 1984 Past
July 17, 1991 Past
February 03, 1966 Past
March 12, 1985 Past
October 01, 2009 Development
October 16, 1975 Past
September 09, 1980 Past
April 13, 1994 Operating
April 28, 2009 Development
June 01, 2013 Under Study
March 17, 2002 Operating
January 12, 2003 Operating
2015 Under Study
December 07, 2001 Operating
May 04, 1976 Operating
April 15, 1999 Operating
December 01, 2012 Under Study
June 18, 1983 Past
February 19, 1987 Past
August 27, 1964 Past
May 20, 2005 Operating
March 28, 1993 Past
December 31, 2012 Development
September 01, 2009 Development
February 24, 2009 Past
June 20, 2008 Operating
June 19, 1999 Operating
November 04, 1995 Past
December 10, 2001 Past
June 27, 1978 Past
August 01, 1997 Operating
December 14, 2002 Operating
April 19, 1994 Past
2013 Under Study
May 17, 1974 Past
January 25, 2003 Operating
February 11, 2000 Past
December 18, 1999 Operating
May 18, 1999 Past
April 01, 1960 Past
July 02, 1996 Past
August 10, 1992 Past
November 27, 1997 Operating
September 12, 1991 Past

 


Heliophysics Missions (36)

Heliophysics research and exploration aims to explore the Sun-Earth system to understand the Sun and its effects on Earth, the solar system, and the space environmental conditions that will be experienced by explorers, and to demonstrate technologies that can improve future operational systems.

 

A-Z Launch Date Phase
August 25, 1997 Operating
April 25, 2007 Operating
2012 Development
April 16, 2008 Operating
July 16, 2000 Operating
December 02, 1997 Past
August 21, 1996 Operating
July 24, 1992 Operating
September 23, 2006 Operating
October 19, 2008 Operating
March 25, 2000 Past
October 26, 1973 Past
October 22, 1997 Past
2014 Development
March 03, 1972 Past
February 24, 1996 Past
2012 Development
February 05, 2002 Operating
July 03, 1992 Past
2009 Development
TBD Under Study
February 26, 1998 Past
December 02, 1995 Operating
TBD Under Study
TBD Under Study
September 13, 1994 Past
March 22, 2006 Past
October 25, 2006 Operating
February 17, 2007 Operating
December 07, 2001 Operating
April 01, 1998 Operating
March 13, 2008 Operating
October 06, 1990 Operating
September 05, 1977 Operating
November 01, 1994 Operating
August 30, 1991 Past

 


Planets Missions (47)

Planetary exploration missions are conducted by some of the most sophisticated robots ever built. Through them we extend our senses to the farthest reaches of the Solar System and into remote and hostile environments, where the secrets of our origins and destiny lie hidden.

 

A-Z Launch Date Phase
October 15, 1997 Operating
October 22, 2008 Operating
January 25, 1994 Past
July 03, 2002 Past
September 27, 2007 Operating
January 12, 2005 Operating
January 12, 2005 Operating
October 24, 1998 Past
2013 Under Study
October 18, 1989 Past
August 08, 2001 Past
September 08, 2011 Under Study
May 09, 2003 Operating
2013 Under Study
August 11, 2011 Development
2011 Under Study
January 07, 1998 Past
April 24, 2009 Development
May 04, 1989 Past
July 21, 1962 Past
2016 Under Study
December 11, 1998 Past
July 07, 2003 Operating
June 10, 2003 Operating
June 02, 2003 Operating
November 07, 1996 Past
January 01, 2011 Under Study
September 25, 1992 Past
April 07, 2001 Operating
December 04, 1996 Past
January 03, 1999 Past
August 12, 2005 Operating
October 01, 2011 Development
  Under Study
2013 Under Study
August 03, 2004 Operating
February 17, 1996 Past
January 19, 2006 Operating
August 04, 2007 Operating
March 03, 1972 Past
May 20, 1978 Past
August 22, 1961 Past
March 02, 2004 Operating
February 07, 1999 Past
  Operating
May 29, 1966 Past
August 20, 1975 Past

 

 

[Editor's Note: This listing is current as of March, 2009.]

 

Glossary

Citation

Wallace, M. (2009). NASA - Science Missions. Retrieved from http://www.cosmosportal.org/view/article/138548

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