NASA Science Missions

Featured Missions

Upcoming mission milestones showcase the breadth and depth of NASA science.

Artist concept of the GOES-U satellite in orbit around the earth

GOES-U

Launch is targeted for June 25, 2024. GOES-U will provide advanced detection and monitoring of environmental phenomena that directly affect public safety, protection of property, and the nation’s economic health.

A spacecraft hovers over a reddish striped moon with planet Jupiter in the background.

Europa Clipper

Europa Clipper is launching Oct. 10, 2024 with the main science goal of determining whether there are places below the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, that could support life.

Illustration of NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) on the surface of the Moon

Viper

VIPER launches late 2024 and will be NASA's first robotic Moon rover to measure the location and concentration of water ice and other resources. These resources could eventually be harvested to sustain human exploration on the Moon, Mars — and beyond!

PACE

active Mission

PACE will help us better understand our ocean and atmosphere by measuring key variables associated with cloud formation, particles and pollutants in the air, and microscopic, floating marine life (phytoplankton).…

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Artist's concept of PACE spacecraft

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Image of a gloved hand and normal hand exchanging a colorful chip; text reads 3D tissue chips advanced biomedical research

3D Tissue Chips

Developing tissue chips that can be used for modeling of acute and/or chronic exposures for 6 months or longer 3D…

Pioneer 0

Able 1 (Pioneer 0)

Pioneer 0, also known as Able 1, was the first-ever launch to the Moon — and humanity’s first attempt to…

Able 2 (Pioneer 1)

The U.S. Air Force shared management of this lunar mission with America's newly-formed space agency — NASA.

Able 4B (Pioneer P-3)

Able 4B, also known as Pioneer P-3, was part of a U.S. push to get to the Moon after the…

A Pioneer spacecraft in space

Able 5A (Pioneer P-30)

What was Able 5A (Pioneer P-30)? This U.S. probe had a mission similar to its failed predecessor, Able 4B. It…

Ready for Orbit

Able 5B (Pioneer P-31)

What was Able 5B (Pioneer P-31)? LIke its two unsuccessful predecessors, this U.S. spacecraft was launched to orbit the Moon.…

ACE

NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) collects and analyzes particles of solar, interplanetary, interstellar and galactic origins. The data contributes to…

ACME mission

ACME

Advancing combustion technology via fundamental microgravity/Improving efficiency and reducing emission in practical terrestrial combustion The Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments…

an illustration of ACRIMSAT in orbit

ACRIMSAT

Earth Orbiter

Photo of plants growing in a controlled environment

Advanced Plant Habitat

Conducting plant bioscience research aboard the International Space Station The Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) is the largest, fully automated plant…

Akatsuki

Akatsuki

Launch Date May 21, 2010 Launch Site Tanegashima Space Center, Tanegashima, Japan Destination Venus Type Orbiter Status Successful–In Progress Nation…

Apollo 15 Subsatellite

Apollo 15 Subsatellite

Launch Date Aug. 4, 1971 Launch Site Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA | Launch Complex 39A Destination Earth’s Moon Type Orbiter…

Apollo 16 Subsatellite

Apollo 16 Subsatellite

Launch Date Apr. 24, 1972 Launch Site Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA | Launch Complex 39A Destination Earth’s Moon Type Orbiter…

Artist's concept of the Aqua spacecraft above Earth.

Aqua

Earth Orbiter

532569main_pia13971-full_full.jpg

Aquarius

Eyes on Aquarius The joint U.S./Argentinian Aquarius/Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas (SAC)-D mission was launched June 10, 2011, and ended on…

ARTEMIS (THEMIS)

Note: This page refers to the twin robotic spacecraft currently studying the Moon. For details on NASA’s new Artemis mission…

ATLAS

ATLAS

The Atlas Program ATLAS-1, the first of the ATLAS series of Shuttle flights, was an important part of the long-term,…

ATS

ATS

Applications Technology Satellite Program The Applications Technology Satellite (ATS) series was conceived of as a follow-on to the successful experimental…

an illustration of the Aura spacecraft in orbit, seen from below

Aura

Earth Orbiter

Above Earth, the International Space Station orbits. From one area toward the middle of the station, a transparent cone highlights a rainbow stripe of Earth's atmosphere.

AWE

The Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE) is attached to the exterior of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station. From its space station…

BARREL

BARREL was a balloon-based mission to study X-rays in Earth’s atmosphere near the North and South poles.

Two orbiters mated together in deep space.

BepiColombo

What is BepiColombo? BepiColombo is an international mission comprised of two spacecraft riding together to Mercury to orbit and to…

Small lander on the surface of the Moon.

Beresheet

Beresheet was Israel's first lunar mission and the first attempt by a private company to land on the Moon.

Image of the earth on the left with the sun in the far distance and the moon on the right. Overlaying text reads: Biological Experiment-01 and Studying how life responds to conditions beyond low-Earth orbit.

BioExpt-01

Biological Experiment-01 on Artemis I Studying how life responds to conditions beyond low Earth orbit BioExperiment-01 (BioExpt-01) will serve as…

BurstCube

BurstCube is a shoebox-sized satellite designed to study the universe’s most powerful explosions.

an illustration of calipso in space

CALIPSO

Earth Orbiter

Spacecraft heating up in Saturn's atmosphere.

Cassini-Huygens

Saturn Orbiter

an illustration of Chandra in space

Chandra

Space Telescope