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National Aeronatics and Space Administration (NASA) Missions

Launches: From 2012


The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Program (GOES) is a joint effort of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Currently, there are two satellites GOES-12 and GOES-10 operating as 'GOES-East' and 'GOES-West'. These spacecraft help meteorologists observe and predict local weather events, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, fog, flash floods, and other severe weather. In addition, GOES observations have proven helpful in monitoring dust storms, volcanic eruptions, and forest fires.

GOES - NO/P is the next series of GOES satellites. The GOES-R Series, which is currently in the formulation phase, will follow GOES - NO/P. The first launch is scheduled for the 2012 timeframe.

See NASA Website for details.

Launch: August 2011

James Webb Space Telescope

The JWST is a large space based telescope designed to investigate the oldest galaxies and some of the first stars formed after the big bang. JWST will have a 6.5m diameter mirror and a sunshield the size of a tennis court.

The JWST is being developed in partnership with ESA.

See NASA Website for details.

(Image: NASA)

Launch: 2008

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

LRO is the first of the Lunar missions, planned for launch by late Fall 2008 and will orbit the Moon nominally 1 year. The LRO mission emphasizes the overall objective of obtaining data that will facilitate returning men safely to the Moon where testing and preparations for an eventual manned mission to Mars will be undertaken.

See NASA Website for details.

(Image: NASA)


Hubble Robotics Mission

The Hubble Space Telescope was designed to be maintained by astronouts operating out of a space shuttle on EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity) missions. However following the tragic loss of the Shuttle Columbia and the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, NASA has begun making plans for a robotic mission to extend the life of the Hubble Telescope.

See NASA Website or NASA Hubble Website for details.

In Earth Orbit (Launched 20th November 2004)


SWIFT is designed to help scientists learn more about Gamma-ray bursts - the most powerful explosions since the big bang. SWIFT carries three instruments for detecting Gamma-ray bursts and transmits this information to ground stations so that scientists can use land and space based telescopes to investigate further.

See NASA Website for details.

(Image: NASA GSFC / Sonoma State University)

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