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Terra Aura SMAP GPM

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Status: Current, Extended Mission
Mission Category: Earth Observing System (EOS), A-Train
Launch Date: July 15, 2004
Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
Designed Life: July 15, 2010

Aura's four instruments study the atmosphere's chemistry and dynamics. Aura's measurements enable us to investigate questions about ozone trends, air-quality changes and their linkage to climate change. Aura's measurements also provide accurate data for predictive models and useful information for local and national agency decision-support systems.

Key Aura Facts

Mission/Portal Page:
Reference Handbook:
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920 rocket
Altitude:Distance from sea level. 705km
Inclination: 98.2°
Local Node:Approximate time, at the equator when vehicle is directly overhead. 1:45 p.m.
Origination: Joint with Netherlands, Finland, and the U.K.
Instruments: HIRDLS (High-Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder)
MLS (Microwave Limb Sounder)
OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument)
TES (Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer)
Project Scientist(s): Bryan Duncan
Deputy Project Scientist(s): Joanna Joiner

Related Publications:

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Atmospheric Composition
  • Climate Variability and Change
  • Weather

Relevant Science Questions:

  • How is the global Earth system changing?
  • How will the Earth system change in the future?

Science Goals:

  • The Aura mission seeks to answer three main science questions: Is the stratospheric ozone layer recovering? What are the processes controlling air quality? How is Earth's climate changing?

Related Applications:

  • Agricultural Efficiency
  • Air Quality
  • Public Health