NASA Science Missions

Featured Missions

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

A montage of the Webb Space Telescope over a composited background of stars and galaxies.

James Webb Space Telescope

Webb is celebrating one year of incredible discoveries, from exoplanets to the early Universe.

An artistic visualization of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft hovering above the surface of Asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft is silver, shiny with two wings on the top and a long extension from the bottom.


OSIRIS-REx is the first U.S. mission to collect samples from an asteroid. It returned the samples to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023, kicking off an exciting autumn of asteroid milestones!

Parker Solar Probe orbiting over The Sun.

Parker Solar Probe

Parker just completed its 16th orbit, moving ever closer to the surface of the Sun. Celebrate this mission and others with the Heliophysics Big Year, beginning in October 2023.

All Science Missions


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.…

ACME mission


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


Earth Orbiter

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…



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



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



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


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

Small lander on the surface of the Moon.


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

Spacecraft heating up in Saturn's atmosphere.


Saturn Orbiter

Globe of Moon with color-coded strips of data indicating mineral composition.

Chandrayaan-1 / Moon Impact Probe

India's Chandrayaan-1 played a crucial role in the discovery of water molecules on the Moon.

Spacecraft orbiting over Moon


Goals Chandrayaan-2 was India’s first attempt to soft land on the Moon. The mission includes an orbiter, lander and rover.…

CHIPS Mission Image


The Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPS) was a University-Class Explorer (UNEX) mission. The CHIPS program demonstrated that a small…

CINDI Mission Image


CINDI was a mission to understand the dynamics of Earth’s ionosphere, the part of the atmosphere where particles have separated…

Artist conception of the Clementine spacecraft, a joint mission of the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative Organization and NASA.


What was Clementine? Clementine was the first U.S. spacecraft launched to the Moon in over 20 years. It was designed…

Fuzzy composite image of deep space shows two streaks that indicate the spacecraft broke apart.


CONTOUR, a NASA mission to explore at least two comets, was lost do malfunction a few weeks after launch.

CRRES Mission Image


The Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) was launched into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) for a nominal three-year…



On the first flight of the Space Launch System, the CuSP secondary payload will serve as a “space weather station”…

Dawn Artist's Concept


Dwarf Planet & Asteroid Orbiter

Deep Impact (EPOXI)

What was Deep Impact (EPOXI)? The primary mission of NASA’s Deep Impact was to probe beneath the surface of a…

Deep Space 1

What was Deep Space 1? NASA’s Deep Space 1 was an engineering test flight for a dozen new technologies, including…


Disturbance Reduction System

What was the ST-7 Disturbance Reduction System? The Space Technology 7 (ST-7) Disturbance Reduction System (DRS) flew aboard the European…

DART Launches

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

DART was NASA's first successful planetary defense test. The spacecraft deliberately impacted asteroid Dimorphos, and successfully altered the asteroid’s orbit.


The Electron Losses and Fields Investigation, or ELFIN, studies one of the processes that allows energetic electrons to escape the…

Equator-S Mission Image


Equator-S was a low-cost mission designed to study Earth’s magnetic environment, the magnetosphere, above the equator. This unique orbit took…



NASA’s Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) was designed to investigate how energy from the Sun is absorbed and re-radiated by…