National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Marshall Space Flight Center
NASA's Science Goals
Proposing a Mission
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Overview of Missions
Missions of Opportunity
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Small Worlds, Big Questions
Why We Explore
How We Explore
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On February 17, 1996, Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) was the first Discovery Program spacecraft to be launched and it became the first ever to orbit and land on an asteroid.
The Mars Pathfinder mission demonstrated a low-cost method of delivering a set of science instruments and the first free-ranging rover to the surface of Mars.
The science data returned from Lunar Prospector has enabled scientists to create detailed maps of the gravity, magnetic properties and chemical composition of the Moon's entire surface.
The Stardust spacecraft collected interstellar dust and comet dust during a close encounter with Comet Wild 2 and returned the particles to Earth for analysis by scientists worldwide.
The Genesis spacecraft spent two years collecting atoms of solar wind before returning them to Earth in September 2004 for detailed analysis.
The Comet Nucleus Tour, or CONTOUR, mission was going to encounter and study two diverse comets during their periodic visits to the solar system.
MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) mission is a scientific investigation of the planet Mercury.
The Deep Impact mission propelled a large copper projectile into the surface of a comet, creating a huge crater and yielding new information about the internal composition and structure of a comet.
The Dawn mission is on its way to the oldest and most massive asteroids in our solar system, to give us a glimpse of conditions and processes at the dawn of our solar system.
Kepler will use a unique telescope to search for Earth-size habitable planets around stars beyond our solar system.
The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, mission will put twin satellites into orbit around the Moon to map the Moon's interior and variations in its gravitational pull & to reconstruct its thermal history.
The InSight mission is a terrestrial
planet explorer that will place a
geophysical lander on Mars to study
its deep interior.
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