NASA Plans Several Earth-Studying Satellites for 2014


NASA has an exciting and busy year ahead.

The space agency has announced an ambitious set of upcoming missions for the year.

The missions include the "cloud-aerosol transport system" or CATS instrument, which will extend satellite observations of small particles in the atmosphere.

The first NASA earth science mission of 2014 launches late next month: it's a new observatory to that will provide almost global observations of rainfall and snowfall.

Also two missions to the International Space Station are on tap this year.

NASA will launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory in July to measure greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

And the SMAP mission will track water on earth in the soil.

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