Eco-Schools USA is proud to feature NASA educational resources as part of its website, and to utilize NASA data and tools as part of the Eco-Schools USA Climate Change Connections program.
Below are satellites that belong to NASA's Earth Observing Satellite, EOS program. While this list is not inclusive it does house the satellites that were used to write the Eco-Schools USA Climate Change Connections curriculum.
Housed under our Climate Change pathway, the curriculum was developed in partnership with NASA and other outstanding organizations to help educators improve student's understanding of Earth systems science and how our changing climate is affecting those systems.
The Earth Observing System (EOS) is a coordinated series of polar-orbiting and low inclination satellites for long-term global observations of the land surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, and oceans. EOS is a major component of the Earth Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. EOS enables an improved understanding of the Earth as an integrated system. The EOS Project Science Office (EOSPSO) is committed to bringing program information and resources to program scientists and the general public alike.
ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) is the benchmark Earth Observing System mission for measuring ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics. The ICESat mission will provide multi-year elevation data needed to determine ice sheet mass balance as well as cloud property information, especially for stratospheric clouds common over polar areas. It will also provide topography and vegetation data around the globe, in addition to the polar-specific coverage over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
NASA’s Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of earth’s polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's ICESat satellite missions.
Terra carries five instruments, ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS, and MOPITT, which observe Earth's atmosphere, ocean, land, snow and ice, and energy budget. Taken together, these observations provide unique insight into how the Earth system works and how it is changing. Terra observations reveal humanity's impact on the planet and provide crucial data about natural hazards like fire and volcanoes. Terra carries instruments from other countries, the United States, Japan, and Canada!
The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Since 1972, Landsat satellites have collected information about Earth from space. This science, known as remote sensing, has matured with the Landsat Program.
Landsat satellites have taken specialized digital photographs of Earth’s continents and surrounding coastal regions for over three decades, enabling people to study many aspects of our planet and to evaluate the dynamic changes caused by both natural processes and human practices.
The Aura mission studies the Earth's ozone, air quality and climate. It is designed exclusively to conduct research on the composition, chemistry and dynamics of the Earth's atmosphere. Aura's four instruments study the atmosphere's chemistry and dynamics. Aura's measurements will enable us to investigate questions about ozone trends, air quality changes and their linkage to climate change. Aura's measurements will provide accurate data for predictive models and provide useful information for local and national agency decision support systems.
Aqua was the first member launched of a group of satellites termed the Afternoon Constellation, or sometimes the A-Train. Aqua is a major international Earth Science satellite mission centered at NASA. Launched on May 4, 2002, the satellite has six different Earth-observing instruments on board and is named for the large amount of information being obtained about water in the Earth system from its stream of approximately 89 Gigabytes of data a day. The water variables being measured include almost all elements of the water cycle and involve water in its liquid, solid, and vapor forms. Additional variables being measured include radiative energy fluxes, aerosols, vegetation cover on the land, phytoplankton and dissolved organic matter in the oceans, and air, land, and water temperatures.
SMAP will provide global measurements of soil moisture and its freeze/thaw state. These measurements will be used to enhance understanding of processes that link the water, energy and carbon cycles, and to extend the capabilities of weather and climate prediction models. SMAP data will also be used to quantify net carbon flux in boreal landscapes and to develop improved flood prediction and drought monitoring capabilities.
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