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CGRO Compton Gamma Ray Observatory
Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)
ERBS Earth Radiation Budget Satellite
Explorer (America’s 1st Spacecraft)
Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer
FAST Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer
FERMI Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)
HETE-2 High Energy Transient Explorer Satellite
LAser GEOdynamics Satellite-1 (LAGEOS) was designed by NASA and launched in 1976. It was the first spacecraft dedicated exclusively to high-precision laser ranging and provided the first opportunity to acquire laser-ranging data that were not degraded by errors originating in the satellite orbit or satellite array. LAGEOS-2, based on the LAGEOS-1 design, was built by the Italian Space Agency and was launched in 1992. There are plans for the launch of LAGEOS-3, which is a joint multinational program with collaboration from France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the United States. Data from LAGEOS-3 would be used to measure, for the first time, a quasi-stationary property of the Earth - its gravitational magnetic dipole moment as predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity.
LADEE Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer
LCDM Landsat Data Continuity Mission
MAVEN: Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (future, for 2013)
OCO Orbiting Carbon Observatory (future)
Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) future
Carried into Earth orbit in the cargo bay of Space Shuttle Atlantis in a launch from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on May 4, 1989, Magellan was propelled toward Venus by a solid-fuel motor called an Inertial Upper Stage. After a 15-month trip, Magellan went into orbit around Venus on August 10, 1990. Over the next four years it mapped 99 percent of the surface of Venus.
MGS Mars Global Surveyor
NASA's Mars Global Surveyor operated in orbit around Mars for nine years, longer than any other spacecraft to Mars and long enough to complete three extensions of its original two-year mission. The spacecraft last communicated with Earth on Nov. 2, 2006.
designed to be a demonstration of the technology necessary to deliver a lander and a free-ranging robotic rover to the surface of Mars in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Pathfinder not only accomplished this goal but also returned an unprecedented amount of data and outlived its primary design life.
Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR)
On Monday, 12 February 2001, the NEAR spacecraft touched down on asteroid Eros, after transmitting 69 close-up images of the surface during its final descent.
Phoenix Mars Lander
After a picture-perfect landing, the Phoenix Mars Lander returned unprecedented views and new findings from Mars’ north polar region.
The Pioneer series of spacecraft performed first-of-their-kind explorations of the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. The different missions had little in common except that they all paved the way for later in-depth investigations, and were all spin stabilized. Pioneer 0, 1, and 2 were the United States' first lunar attempts. These identical spacecraft, which all failed to meet their lunar objectives, were followed by Pioneer 3 and 4, which succeeded in becoming America's first successful lunar missions. Pioneer 5 provided the first maps of the interplanetary magnetic field. Pioneers 6,7,8, and 9 were the world's first solar monitoring network and provided warnings of increased solar activity which could affect Earth orbiting satellites and ground systems. The twin Pioneer 10 and 11 vehicles were the first spacecraft to ever visit Jupiter and Saturn. The craft performed a wide variety of scientific observations of the two planets and returned environmental data that was used during the design of the more sophisticated Voyager probes. The Pioneer Venus mission, consisting of the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (Pioneer 12) and Pioneer Venus Multiprobe (Pioneer 13), was the United States' first long-term mission to observe Venus and studied the structure and composition of the Venusian atmosphere. The mission also provided the first radar map of the planet's surface.
Unlocking the Secrets of Earth's Magnetosphere. The Polar satellite, launched on February 24, 1996, is in a highly elliptical, 86 deg inclination orbit with a period of about 17.5 hours. Within the Sun-Earth Connections fleet, Polar has the responsibility for multi-wavelength imaging of the aurora, measuring the entry of plasma into the polar magentosphere and the geomagnetic tail, the flow of plasma to and from the ionosphere, and the deposition of particle energy in the ionosphere and upper atmosphere. Polar was launched to observe the polar magnetosphere and, as its orbit has precessed with time, has observed the equatorial inner magnetosphere and is now progressing toward an extended southern hemisphere campaign.
Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT)
ROSAT, the Röntgen Satellite, was an X-ray observatory developed through a cooperative program between Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The satellite was proposed by the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (MPE) and designed, built and operated in Germany. It was launched by the United States on June 1, 1990. The mission ended after almost nine years, on February 12, 1999.