Terra: the EOS Flagship

Terra explores the connections between Earth's atmosphere, land, snow and ice, ocean, and energy balance to understand Earth's climate and climate change and to map the impact of human activity and natural disasters on communities and ecosystems. Image of Terra Global Maps

Balancing Terra’s Fuel Supply and Science Needs

For almost 18 years the Terra satellite and its five sensors continuously collected data about Earth and its complex systems. Since 2003, Terra maintained a strict equatorial crossing-time within a tight two-minute window, but as Terra prepares for its golden years and its fuel reserves dwindle, decisions on how to responsibly use its limited fuel need to be made.

The recent article from a team of Terra’s scientists looks at whether or not Terra should continue to maintain its crossing time and altitude or if it should be allowed to drift to a lower altitude which would change its crossing time.

Learn about the impacts and offer your own suggestions by contacting the Terra science team. A panel of experts are convening at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting in New Orleans to discuss Terra’s future and any feedback will be considered. Balancing Terra’s Fuel Supply and Science Needs.

Science Visualizations

ASTER

ASTER

CERES

CERES

MISR

MISR

Ocean Color in Gulf of Alaska

MODIS

MOPITT Globe

MOPITT