Image from TERRA
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 13:51 EST

The state of New South Wales (NSW) in south eastern Australia is continuing to experience devastating bushfires due to the dry tinder-like atmosphere in the territory: high winds, dry lightning and continuing heat.

Image from TERRA
Fri, 08 Nov 2019 09:56 EST

Smoke billows from the scores of bushfires on Australia east coast in this image captured by NASA's Terra satellite on Nov. 08, 2019, using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard.

Image from TERRA
Tue, 05 Nov 2019 19:03 EST

The Earth-observing mission ECOSTRESS reveals how the massive rainforest fires this past August spread in dry areas visible only to this specialized sensor.

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.

Spacecraft 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.

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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 mode

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.