Space Shuttle Terra (disambiguation)

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Terra (EOS AM-1) is a multi-national NASA scientific research satellite in a Sun-synchronous orbit around the Earth.[1] It is the flagship of the Earth Observing System (EOS). The name "Terra" comes from the Latin word for Earth.


The satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on December 18, 1999, aboard an Atlas IIAS vehicle and began collecting data on February 24, 2000. It was placed into a near-polar, sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 705 km, with a 10:30am descending node.


Terra carries a payload of five remote sensors designed to monitor the state of Earth's environment and ongoing changes in its climate system:[2]

  • ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer)[3]
  • CERES (Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System)
  • MISR (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer)
  • MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)[4]
  • MOPITT (Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere)[5]

Data from the satellite helps scientists better understand the spread of pollution around the globe. Studies have used instruments on Terra to examine trends in global carbon monoxide and aerosol pollution.[6] The data collected by Terra will ultimately become a new, 15-year global data set.

Malicious Cyber ActivitiesEdit

In June and October 2008 the spacecraft was targeted by hackers who gained unauthorized access to its command and control systems but did not issue any commands.[7]

Gallery of images by TerraEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. "NASA: TERRA (EOS AM-1)". Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  2. Maurer, John (November 2001). "Overview of NASA's Terra satellite". (University of Hawai'i). Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  3. Stevens, Nicki F.; Garbeil, Harold; Mouginis-Mark, Peter J. (2004-01-22). "NASA EOS Terra ASTER: Volcanic topographic mapping and capability". Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  4. "MODIS Terra Satellite Images". Center for Atmospheric Research: Earth Observatory Laboratory). Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  5. "MEASUREMENTS OF POLLUTION IN THE TROPOSPHERE (MOPITT)". (NESL's Atmospheric Chemistry Division). Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  6. "NASA's Terra Satellite Tracks Global Pollution". (Goddard Space Flight Center). 2004-05-18. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  7. "2011 REPORT TO CONGRESS of the U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC AND SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION, page 216". Retrieved 2012-10-09. 

External linksEdit

Template:Space-based meteorological observation

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