Current Missions

Space Missions



Missions Currently in Progress

1. Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE)  to study the flow of energetic particles from the Sun and provide space weather information.

2. Chandra X-Ray Observatory  to study the universe in the x-ray wavelength.

3. Dawn Mission   a NASA mission to study the asteroid belt including the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres.  The Dawn spacecraft has already studied Vesta and is now currently in orbit around Ceres.

4. Epoxi Mission   formerly known as the Deep Impact mission, the spacecraft is now being directed to aim its largest telescope at 5 nearby stars with "transiting exoplanets" in an effort to find other exosolar planets.

5. Exomars Mission - a joint European Space Agency and Russian space mission to send a spacecraft to Mars to study its atmosphere and look for indications of present day geological and biological activity.  Launched March 14, 2016 and arrived at Mars in October 2016.

6. Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope   formerly called GLAST, this mission which was launched June 11, 2008 will enable scientists to study black holes, study subatomic particles and learn more about the birth and early evolution of the universe.

7. Gaia Mission   a European Space Agency mission designed to survey a billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy and also reveal the composition, formation and evolution of the galaxy.  Launched on December 19, 2013

8. Galaxy Evolution Explorer Mission (GALEX)   an orbiting telescope to observe millions of galaxies across 10 billion years of cosmic history.  Mission was launched in April 2003 and is still operating as an extended mission.

9. Hubble Space Telescope   a cooperative program of the European Space Agency and NASA to study the stars, planets and galaxies by the use of an orbiting space telescope. 

10. IBEX - Interstellar Boundry Explorer   a mission designed to study the interstellar boundries that separate our heliosphere from the local interstellar medium.

11. International Space Station   an orbiting space station designed to study our planet.

12. Juno Mission   a NASA New Frontiers mission.  Juno will investigate Jupiter's origins, internal structure, etc.  Launched on August 5, 2011.  Juno is currently in orbit around Jupiter.   

13. 2001 Mars Odyssey   an orbiting spacecraft that is designed to detect water and shallow buried ice on Mars.  Launched on April 7, 2001 and arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001.  The spacecraft is currently in its extended mission. 

14. Mars Exploration Rover Mission   a mission with two rover landers, Spirit and Opportunity to study the surface of Mars.

15. Mars Express Mission   a European Space Agency mission to study the atmosphere and surface of Mars and to search for evidence of life, past or present.  Launched on June 2, 2003 and went into orbit around Mars on December 25, 2003. 

16. Mars InSight Mission  a NASA mission that will drill into the Martian surface to study the interior of the planet.  Launched on May 5, 2018.  Due to arrive at Mars on November 26. 2018. 

17. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter   the spacecraft designed to go into low orbit around Mars will examine the planet in great detail and provide more data than we ever got from all previous Mars missions.  Launched on August 12, 2005 and went into orbit around Mars in March 2006.

18. Mars Science Laboratory   a mission which carries a car-sized rover named Curiosity to the planet Mars to see if that planet could have had life in the past or still does.  Mission was launched November 26, 2011.

19. MAVEN Mission   a mission designed to study the Martian upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind.  Mission was launched on November 18, 2013.

20. New Horizons   a spacecraft mission to study the dwarf planet Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.  The mission was launched on January 19, 2006 and has flown past Pluto in July 2015 and is continuing on through the Kuiper Belt.

21. NuSTAR Mission   a NASA mission which will search for black holes in our galaxy as well as those in faraway galaxies.  Launched June 13, 2012.

22. Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager  (RHESSI)   this mission is designed to investigate the physics of particle acceleration and energy release in solar flares and observe X-ray and gamma ray emissions. Launched on February 5, 2002.

23. Solar Dynamics Observatory   a NASA mission designed to help us understand the Sun's influence on Earth and Near-Earth space.  Launched on February 11, 2010.

24. Spitzer Space Telescope   the Spitzer Space Telescope will be able to image space objects by detecting the infrared wavelengths.  Launched on August 25, 2003.

25. Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)   a European Space Agency mission to study the Sun and the solar wind.  Launched on December 2, 1995.

26. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy   (SOFIA)  an 80/20 partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center.  SOFIA is the largest airborne observatory in the world.  The observatory saw first light on May 26, 2010.

27. TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)  a mission to survey nearby bright stars for the presence of exoplanets.  Launched on April 18, 2018. 

28. Voyager Mission   Voyagers 1 & 2 which made a flyby of the outer planets is more than 90 AU or 8.4 billion miles from the Sun and is heading out beyond our solar system.  Spacecraft were launched in 1977.

29. Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)   WISE will map the sky in infrared light searching for the nearest and coolest stars, the origins of stellar and planetary systems and the most luminous galaxies in the universe,  Launched on December 14, 2009.

30. Wind Spacecraft   to measure the incoming solar wind, magnetic fields and particles.  Launched on November 1, 1994.