Image from TERRA
Wed, 10 Oct 2018 13:03 EDT

More than 400 miles above Earth, a satellite the size of a school bus is earning its frequent flyer miles. On Oct. 6, NASA’s Terra completed 100,000 orbits around Earth. Terra, which launched Dec. 18, 1999, is projected to continue operation into the 2020s.

Image from TERRA
Fri, 14 Sep 2018 01:33 EDT

NASA's MISR instrument captures Hurricane Florence just off the East Coast. Data from two of its nine cameras is combined to show the storm in 3D

Image from TERRA
Mon, 27 Aug 2018 16:33 EDT

For the first time ever, measurements from NASA Earth-observing research satellites are being used to help combat a potential outbreak of life-threatening cholera. Humanitarian teams in Yemen are targeting areas identified by a NASA-supported project that precisely forecasts high-risk regions based on environmental conditions observed from space.

About Terra

Approximately the size of a small school bus, the Terra satellite carries five instruments that take coincident measurements of the Earth system:

Terra is in a circular sun-synchronous polar orbit that takes it from north to south (on the daylight side of the Earth) every 99 minutes.

PostPropLeakW_smallSpacecraft Quick Facts:

  • Launch Date: December 18,1999
  • Size: the spacecraft bus is 6.8 m long and 3.5 m across.
  • Weight: 5,190 kg (11,442 lbs.) at launch.

KSC-99PP-1412_web

 

Orbit Quick Facts: 

  • Altitude: 705 kilometers (438 miles) above Earth’s surface
  • Inclination: 98.5 degrees
  • Period: 99 minutes (16 orbits per day)
  • Equatorial crossing: 10:30 a.m., descending node

Terra Status:

  • Operating instruments: ASTER, CERES, MODIS, MISR, and MOPITT are operating well.  ASTER Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) data is unavailable.
  • Current life expectancy: Terra  has far exceeded its design life and has a strong chance of operating successfully into the early 2020s.
  • Current systems issues: None.
  • Processed Terra data are available through several NASA data centers.

Greater detail on the status of the Terra spacecraft, instruments, and mission are presented Terra Status File: