Earth  ID: 4583

NASA's Near-Earth Science Mission Fleet: March 2017

This visualization shows the orbits of NASA-related near-Earth science missions that are considered operational as of March 2017. These missions include both NASA-run missions as well as missions run by organizations that NASA has partnered with. Missions that enable science data collection (TDRS) are also included.

The following missions are included:
Also included:
  • Stars
  • Moon
  • Sun
  • Earth
  • L1: Sun-Earth Lagrange Point-1
  • L2: Sun-Earth Lagrange Point-2

Colors are used to distinguish what science category each mission is observing. In some cases, one mission may observe multiple categories (e.g., DSCOVR observes the Sun and the Earth), so only one is choosen. The colors are:
  • Yellow orbits are missions that observe the sun (heliophysics)
  • Blue orbits are missions that observe the Earth
  • Red orbits are missions that observe the stars and planets (astrophysics)
  • Orange orbits are "other"
  • The green orbit is manned (International Space Station)

The clouds used in this version are from a high resolution GEOS model run at 10 minute time steps interpolated down to the per-frame level.

Visualization Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Lead Visualizer
Ernie Wright (USRA): Visualizer
Laurence Schuler (ADNET): Technical Support
Ian Jones (ADNET): Technical Support
Eric Sokolowsky (GST): Project Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
Space-Track Two-Line Elements also referred to as: Space-Track TLE
Ephemeris - NORAD
Satellite ephemerides
GEOS Atmospheric Model
JPL/Horizon Orbital Ephemerides
Ephemeris - NASA/JPL
Planetary ephemerides
Hipparcos/Telescope/Tycho 2 Catalogue also referred to as: Tycho Catalogue
CelesTrak Spacecraft Orbit Ephemeris
GTOPO30 Topography and Bathymetry
Data Compilation - USGS
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

SVS >> Orbit
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NASA Science >> Earth