Skip to Main Content


Senior Review of Operating Missions

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

*Sort missions by clicking the column headers.

DivisionNameLaunch DatePhase
Astrophysics Chandra
Chandra explores the hot turbulent regions in space with images 25 times sharper than previous x-ray pictures. Chandra is performing detailed studies of black holes, supernovas, and dark matter, to increase our understanding of the origin, evolution, and destiny of ...
19990723 July 23, 1999 3Operating
Astrophysics Fermi
Fermi, NASA's most recent gamma-ray observatory has a wide window on the universe. Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of light, and the gamma-ray sky is spectacularly different from the one we perceive with our own eyes. With a huge ...
20080611 June 11, 2008 3Operating
Astrophysics Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
Hubble Space Telescope (HST), an ultraviolet, visible and infrared orbiting telescope, has expanded our understanding of star birth, star death, and galaxy evolution, and has helped move black holes from theory to fact. It has recorded over 100,000 images in ...
19900424 April 24, 1990 3Operating
Astrophysics INTEGRAL
International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) seeks to unravel the secrets of the highest-energy - and therefore the most violent - phenomena in the Universe.
20021017 October 17, 2002 3Operating
Astrophysics Keck Interferometer (KI)
The Keck Interferometer is part of NASA's overall effort to find planets and ultimately life beyond our solar system. It combines the light from the twin Keck telescopes to make high resolution measurements of stars and galaxies and to measure ...
Astrophysics Kepler
The Kepler Mission, a NASA Discovery mission, is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way Galaxy to detect and characterize hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or nearby the habitable zone.
20090306 March 06, 2009 3Operating
Astrophysics NuSTAR
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array is a pathfinder mission that will open the high energy X-ray sky for sensitive study for the first time. This mission is part of SMD's Astrophysics Explorers program.
20120613 June 13, 2012 3Operating
Astrophysics SOFIA
SOFIA is the world's largest airborne observatory. It studies the universe over a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum, from the optical to the far infrared.
Astrophysics Spitzer
Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly known as SIRTF) conducts infrared astronomy from space. From an unusual heliocentric orbit designed to keep its sensitive instruments away from Earth's radiated heat, Spitzer has detected several distant objects, including several supermassive black holes, that ...
20030825 August 25, 2003 3Operating
Astrophysics Suzaku (Astro-E2)
Suzaku (formerly Astro-E2) provides powerful tools to use the Universe as a laboratory for unraveling complex, high-energy processes and the behavior of matter under extreme conditions. This mission is part of SMD's Astrophysics Explorers program. This mission was awarded via ...
20050710 July 10, 2005 3Operating
Astrophysics Swift
Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer is a three-telescope space observatory for studying the position, brightness, and physical properties of gamma ray bursts. Although gamma ray bursts are the largest known explosions in the Universe, outshining the rest of the Universe ...
20041120 November 20, 2004 3Operating
Astrophysics XMM-Newton
XMM-Newton is an X-ray astrophysics observatory that enables astronomers to conduct sensitive X-ray spectroscopic observations of a wide variety of cosmic sources. This mission is part of SMD's Physics of the Cosmos program.
19991210 December 10, 1999 3Operating