Released on September 16, 2010
NASA's Earth Observing fleet of vehicles constitutes a major milestone in the history of Earth science, facilitating the kinds of wide scale and synergistic research endeavors that until the last decade have been impossible to even consider. Many of the techniques being employed around Earth are a direct offshoot of technological and scientific techniques developed on missions to other worlds. NASA's continued commitment to primary research about our home remains a top priority not only to the agency, but to the nation, and the world as a whole. This visualization shows the spacecraft in NASA's Earth Observing fleet. The relative altitudes, speeds, sun position, and clouds are correct during a portion of February 2010.
This version of the orbital fleet was created for a talk by Piers Sellers at the National Air and Space Museum. About half-way through this visualization, the spacecraft that are beyond their designed lifetimes are faded to gray. The only spacraft still within its designed lifetime when this visualization was created was Jason-2.