Ask NASA Climate | February 10, 2015, 09:44 PST

A scrumptious year for NASA Earth science

By Laura Faye Tenenbaum

Over the past twelve months, we’ve been feasting on a banquet of NASA Earth science launches — five, to be precise. NASA’s Earth Right Now Campaign kicked off back in February 2014 with the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite. And we just celebrated our fifth launch on January 31, 2015 with the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory.

To help you look back at this delectable year, I’ve put together a photo gallery of both the edible satellites that I created over the year and their actual NASA counterparts in space. All of the former are in my tummy, while all of the latter are successfully orbiting Earth right now, collecting valuable data to help us understand our climate.

1. Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)

Global Perception Measurement (GPM) launched on Feb. 27, 2014. It provides information about rain and snow and how they interact within the Earth system. (Read original blog post.)

2. Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)

Orbiting Carbon Obsevatory-2 (OCO-2) launched on July 2, 2014. It measures atmospheric carbon dioxide. (Read original blog post.)

3. International Space Station Rapid Scatterometer (ISS-RapidScat)

ISS-RapidScat was deployed to the International Space Station on Sept. 20, 2014. It monitors ocean surface wind speed and direction. (Read original blog post.)

4. Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS)

Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) was deployed to the International Space Station on Jan. 10, 2015. It measures small particles, called “aerosols,” and clouds. (Read original blog post.)

5. Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP)

Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) launched on Jan. 31, 2015. It will map soil moisture, which will help improve our understanding of Earth’s water and carbon cycles. (Read original blog post.)

And hey, blog readers! Don’t just stand there laughing at my silly food models. I’m hoping at least one of you will go out there, get busy and create a fabulous masterpiece! It’s actually pretty fun, and I guarantee you’ll end up learning a ton.

Please post photos of your amazing edible satellite concoctions. Now GO!


NASA's Earth Right Now campaign is a series of five Earth science missions that launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet.