Image from TERRA
Tue, 01 Aug 2023 11:50 EDT

Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve, seen here in an image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on the Terra spacecraft on Dec. 30, 2010, is a special site.

Image from TERRA
Tue, 18 Apr 2023 16:24 EDT

The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, located in Katmai National Park, forms a unique and ashen landscape. Encircled by volcanoes – both active and inactive – it has served as a perfect collection area for huge amounts of volcanic ash.

Image from TERRA
Tue, 20 Sep 2022 10:30 EDT

Water departments in the West are using maps and models originally created by a NASA team to help track water.

Category: News and Events

News and Events

April 20th is officially “Earth Day,” and NASA is celebrating with a hybrid event! Join us in-person (if you’re close to Union Station in Washington D.C.) or online! See the official NASA Earth Day website (linked here) or scan the QR code on the graphic below for more information and (free!) registration! (And if you’ll be joining us online, there’s a sneak preview of NASA’s all new interactive online platform called NASA Science Now — linked here and example shown below!)

Three panels of information:
1) Virtual Event Online Everywhere; Join the Live Celebration on April 20 at; image of QR code. 
2) Join NASA's Earth Day Hybrid Event
3) Free and Open to the Public - In-person event, Washington, D.C.; Union Station, Main Hall; April 20-21, 2023; 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM Daily.
3D virtual auditorium with people seated in chairs in front of three screens, two advertising virtual webinars and the middle showing "Science Theater" and agenda information that will be active on April 20, 2023.
Detailed agenda of Webinars 1 and 2 to be held live on Earth Day. For complete list of events, visit
See full agenda (linked here) and find out more on the NASA 2023 Earth Day Website, linked here.

Spring is here — and so are the Terra science team meetings and workshops! Here’s a list of upcoming Team Meetings and Workshops related to the Terra mission, with additional information about each in the post below this list.

  • 2023 MODIS/VIIRS Science Team Meeting
  • 2023 NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Change (LCLUC) Science Team Meeting
  • CERES 38th Science Team Meeting
  • UCAR Remote Sensing Initiative Workshop
  • NASA’s Terra, Aqua, and Aura Data Continuity Workshop

2023 MODIS/VIIRS Science Team Meeting

The MODIS/VIIRS Science Team Meeting will be held May 1- 4, 2023 at The Hotel at The University of Maryland. Registration will be available soon. Stay tuned to the MODIS Website for more information as it’s made available.

2023 NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Change (LCLUC) Science Team Meeting 

NASA’s Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems (CC&E) focus area will be hosting the next Joint Science Workshop (JSW) on May 8-12, 2023 at The Hotel in College Park, MD. The first two days (May 8-9) will be LCLUC meeting with an emphasis on the early career scientists’ projects. Next two days will be joint meeting with other NASA Earth Science programs of the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Focus Area at plenary sessions. For more information, visit the LCLUC Meeting website.

CERES 38th Science Team Meeting

The CERES 38th Science Team Meeting will be held May 9-11, 2023 at the Pearl Young Theater on the campus of Langley Research Center, Hampton VA. For more information and a PDF of the agenda, please visit the CERES website.

UCAR Remote Sensing Initiative Workshop

This new Initiative provides a focal point for UCAR satellite remote sensing instrumentation, data and science activities, and promotes collaboration across the organization. For more information on this event, visit the UCAR Remote Sensing Initiative website.

NASA’s Terra, Aqua, and Aura Data Continuity Workshop

Image of the three satellites - Terra, Aqua, and Aura - with the following text: Request for Information to inform NASA's Terra, Aqua, and Aura Data Continuity Workshop

NASA recently released a new NASA Request for Information (RFI), seeking input from the science community and stakeholders on data product continuity needs, capabilities, and gaps as NASA’s Terra, Aqua, and Aura missions reach the end of their operational life.

NASA will use these RFI responses to help plan a Terra/Aqua/Aura data continuity workshop. This workshop will determine needs, evaluate current capabilities, identify gaps, and specify potential actions for these missions. The Terra, Aqua, and Aura Data Continuity Workshop will be virtual and is currently scheduled for May 23-25, 2023, from 11am – 4pm Eastern Time.

For more information and updates, visit the NASA NSPIRES platform (linked above), review the full RFI PDF linked here, or see the following linked FAQ document.

Graphic showing picture of Alicia Scott working as a Terra Mission Flight Operator, followed by the text: Meet Alicia Scott, NASA Computer Engineer. Alicia was one of the very first online flight operators for NASA's Terra satellite mission, more than 23 years ago! 

Learn more about Alicia, and her experiences working at NASA, in our short Q&A posted below.
  • Who or what inspired you to get your master’s in computer science? 

My parents always encouraged me and my siblings “not to work as hard” as they did, so I felt like getting a college degree was necessary to ensure more financial freedom than they experienced. I like puzzles and knew that computers would be essential to the majority of careers in the future so I knew computer science was a secure option. 

  • What was it like being one of the first computer programmers to work on the Terra mission?

Well, I was an online operator responsible for commanding the Terra spacecraft through daily operations, quality of data transmitted from the ground stations and working with engineers during anomaly recovery. There was no programming necessary for that position. 

The titles I had were Command Controller and Mission Planner. As the Command Controller, I was responsible for sending commands directly to the Terra spacecraft to ensure daily operations, communicating with the White Sands Ground Station to conduct passes where the spacecraft downloaded data to the ground, and performing quality control of data received. As the mission planner, I was responsible for generating and verifying the actions and timing of commands in the file uploaded to the spacecraft over a period of several days.

  • How did your work on the Terra Mission shape the rest of your career at NASA? 

I learned a lot about the importance of reliability and attention to detail. Additionally, it allowed me to see how many groups of people it takes to run a successful mission and understand how distributed all these groups of people are, which lead me to understand the importance of building relationships and efficient communication. These are all skills and information I have been able to apply to perform duties on subsequent projects.

  • How has the field of computer science changed since you worked on Terra back in the early 2000s?

It has changed so much since then! When I was graduating with my degree, we had maybe a handful of popular programming languages. That has ballooned into more than I can count, so keeping up with the latest advancements has been challenging. Also, the idea of cloud computing has reached us and is underway at our agency. This  revamps our on-premise system architectures and how we will design tools to be optimized for the cloud.

  • How has your identity, as a Black woman, shaped your work at NASA? Were there specific challenges or support systems that you experienced along the way? 

I have been fortunate to have never experienced direct disadvantages due to my race during my career at NASA. Rather, I feel it has been really hard to be seen and respected as a woman here. I believe that honest efforts are being made to eliminate those issues in this new age of breaking down barriers and aggressively improving paths to inclusion and diversity. 

  • What’s one piece of advice you would give to young Black scientists who want to pursue a computer science career at NASA?

Please apply! You have a valuable perspective, drive, and dynamic that is needed to keep NASA growing in its innovative offerings, engineering advancements and scientific discoveries. A diverse workforce provides introduction of new ideas, deeper consideration for societal impact and a more grand final product. When we all work together a better future is realized. 

Special thanks to Alicia Scott for sharing her story!

Here’s a cheesy message from us to you! We hope you all have a Terra-fic Valentine’s Day, from everyone at the Terra Mission!

You're Terra-fic! Happy Valentine's Day from the Terra Mission!

We’re kicking off the new year with a fresh homepage layout and a new bi-weekly series of infographics that highlight important Terra information. Our first infographic highlights the continued high quality of Terra instrument data — even with Terra’s new orbit (click the link to learn more!). Feel free to share this graphic widely, and check back for more Terra facts every other week on the Terra website homepage.

Headline: The quality of Terra's instrument data remains as high as expected, even after changes to the satellite's orbit.  Main text: Did you know? The Terra satellite has been drifting in orbit since February 2020, and was lowered ~5km in altitude in October 2022.  These new orbit conditions only impact Terra data in minor ways, like earlier data collection times and small swath width changes for some instruments; but there has been no degradation in the quality or usefulness of Terra instrument data.
Did You Know? The quality of Terra’s instrument data remains as high as expected, even after changes to the satellite’s orbit.