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Flight Missions Information

Astronomy and Astrophysics
at the NSSDC

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

This page lists flight missions with astronomy or astrophysics contributing significantly to the science objectives. Missions with a space/solar physics or planetary astronomy focus are generally not included on this page.

Alternatively, see the Flight Missions Graphical Interface page to view astrophysics missions by wavelength region.


Clicking on a mission name will take you to the NSSDC Master Catalog (NMC) entry and NSSDC data archive information. Clicking on a blue or green colored bar in the "Archive" column will take you to the active data archive or other mission information. A blue bar blue bar gif indicates a past or current mission. A green bar green bar gif indicates a mission in development.

If you don't see a mission listed here, you may wish to query the NSSDC Master Catalog.

Acronyms of sponsoring agencies/countries are defined at the bottom of this page.


| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |


A

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
AGILE past/current
past/current
ASI Gamma-ray detection of AGN flaring activity, gamma-ray bursts, pulsars, new transients, solar flares, and cosmic ray interactions in the Galaxy
Alexis past/current mission
past/current
DOE Ultrasoft X-ray sky survey and observations; extreme UV observations
ANS past/current mission
past/current
NIVR/NASA X-ray and ultraviolet observations of celestial objects
Ariel 5 past/current mission
past/current
UK/NASA X-ray sky monitoring
Ariel 6 past/current mission
past/current
UK/NASA X-ray observations
ASCA past/current mission
past/current
ISAS/NASA X-ray spectroscopy of astrophysical plasmas with emphasis on the iron K band, and imaging of extended sources
ASTP-Apollo past/current mission
past/current
NASA Extreme-Ultraviolet astronomy among other-discipline experiments
Astro 1 past/current mission
past/current
NASA Ultraviolet and X-ray observations of selected targets
Astro 2 past/current mission
past/current
NASA Ultraviolet observations of selected targets
Astro-E2 (Suzaku) past/current mission
past/current
NASA/ISAS High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of black holes, and supernovae, and other extended objects

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B

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
Beppo-SAX past/current mission
past/current
ASI/NIVR X-ray spectroscopy and time variability studies of celestial sources

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C

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
CGRO past/current mission
past/current
NASA Gamma-ray studies of high-energy sources and processes including gamma-ray bursts and blazars; Second of NASA's Great Observatories
Chandra past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray imaging and spectroscopy of high energy regions in the universe; Third of NASA's Great Observatories
CHIPS past/current mission
past/current
NASA Extreme ultraviolet all-sky spectroscopy of the diffuse background
COBE past/current mission
past/current
NASA Infrared and microwave measurements of the cosmic infrared background and the cosmic microwave background
Copernicus (OAO 3) past/current mission
past/current
NASA Ultraviolet survey mission
Cos-B past/current mission
past/current
ESA Gamma-ray study of extraterrestrial sources

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D

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
DXS past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray spectra of the diffuse soft X-ray background radiation in the Milky Way Galaxy

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E

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
Einstein (HEAO 2) past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray imaging and spectrographic studies of targeted sources and studies of the diffuse X-ray background
Explorer 11 past/current mission
past/current
NASA Gamma-ray observations of celestial sources
EUVE past/current mission
past/current
NASA Extreme ultraviolet full-sky survey and spectroscopic observations of selected targets
EXOSAT past/current mission
past/current
ESA X-ray measurements of the position, structural features, and spectral and temporal characteristics of cosmic sources

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F

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
FIRST (Herschel) future mission
in development
ESA Far-infrared and sub-mm photometry and spectroscopy probing the formation of stars and galaxies
FUSE past/current mission
past/current
NASA Far-UV study of the cosmic abundance of deuterium, and the hot gas content of our galaxy

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G

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
GALEX past/current mission
past/current
NASA UV mission to explore the origin and evolution of galaxies and the origins of stars and heavy elements
Gamma past/current mission
past/current
IKI/CESR X-ray and gamma-ray observations
Ginga past/current mission
past/current
ISAS X-ray time variability study of active galaxies (e.g., Seyfert galaxies, BL Lac objects, and quasars)
Granat past/current mission
past/current
IKI/CESR X-ray and gamma-ray study of emissions from galactic and extra-galactic sources

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H

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
Hakucho past/current mission
past/current
ISAS X-ray systematic survey of short-lived X-ray phenomena and observe selected sources
HALCA past/current mission
past/current
ISAS Radio imaging of astronomical sources in coordination with ground-based radio observatories; Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry mission
HEAO 1 past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray and low-energy gamma ray source survey
HEAO 2 (Einstein) past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray imaging and spectrographic studies of targeted sources and studies of the diffuse X-ray background
HEAO 3 past/current mission
past/current
NASA Gamma-ray and cosmic ray source survey
Herschel (FIRST) future mission
in development
ESA Far-infrared and sub-mm photometry and spectroscopy probing the formation of stars and galaxies
HETE 2 past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray sky survey and multiwavelength observations of gamma-ray bursts
Hipparcos past/current mission
past/current
ESA Optically accurate measurements of trigonometric parallaxes, proper motions, and positions of selected stars
HST past/current mission
past/current
NASA/ESA Visible, near-ultraviolet, and near-infrared observations of the cosmos and planetary objects; First of NASA's Great Observatories

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I

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
INTEGRAL past/current mission
past/current
ESA Gamma-ray spectroscopy, imaging, and accurate positioning of cosmic gamma-ray sources
IRAS past/current mission
past/current
NASA/SERC/NIVR Infrared full-sky survey
IRTS past/current mission
past/current
ISAS Infrared astronomy observations emphasizing cosmology, interstellar matter, late type stars and interplanetary dust
ISO past/current mission
past/current
ESA Infrared, detailed study of selected galactic and extragalactic sources
IUE past/current mission
past/current
NASA/ESA/SERC Ultraviolet observations of selected targets

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J


K


L


M

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
MAP (WMAP) past/current mission
past/current
NASA Microwave measurement of the temperature of the microwave cosmic background radiation
MSAM/TopHat past/current mission
past/current
NASA Infrared and microwave study of the cosmic microwave background radiation
MSX past/current mission
past/current
BMDO Infrared mapping of the Galactic Plane and the Large Magellanic Cloud

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N

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
NVSS past/current mission
past/current
NRAO Radio continuum survey; ground-based

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O

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
OAO 2 past/current mission
past/current
NASA Ultraviolet stellar and nebular photometry/td>
OAO 3 (Copernicus) past/current mission
past/current
NASA Ultraviolet survey mission
ORFEUS past/current mission
past/current
DARA/NASA Ultraviolet spectroscopic observations
ORFEUS-SPAS II past/current mission
past/current
DARA/NASA Ultraviolet spectroscopic observations
OSO 7 past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray observations of cosmic sources; primarily a solar observatory
OSO 8 past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray observations of celestial sources; primarily a solar observatory

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P

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
Planck future mission
in development
ESA Microwave mapping of the structure of the cosmic microwave background

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Q


R

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
RAE-A past/current mission
past/current
NASA Radio obervations of celestial sources
RAE-B past/current mission
past/current
NASA Radio obervations of celestial sources
ROSAT past/current mission
past/current
NASA/BMBF/SERC X-ray survey mission; x-ray imaging and spectroscopy of selected targets
RXTE (XTE) past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray study of temporal and broad-band spectral phenomena associated with compact objects

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S

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
SAS-A (Uhuru) past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray sky survey; studies of the structure of extended sources
SAS-B past/current mission
past/current
NASA Gamma-ray observations of galactic and extragalactic sources
SAS-C past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray observations of galactic and extragalactic sources
Spitzer past/current mission
past/current
NASA Infrared search for brown dwarfs and protoplanets, study ultraluminous galaxies, and conduct deep surveys; Fourth of NASA's Great Observatories
Skylab past/current mission
past/current
NASA Ultraviolet stellar astronomy; primarily a solar physics mission
SOFIA future mission
in development
NASA/DLR Infrared observations of the universe from an airborne observatory
Suzaku (Astro-E2) past/current mission
past/current
NASA/ISAS High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of black holes, and supernovae, and other extended objects
SWAS past/current mission
past/current
NASA Submillimeter study of interstellar clouds and how stars and planets form
Swift past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray study of the afterglow of gamma-ray bursts

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T

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
TD 1A past/current mission
past/current
ESA UV, X-ray and gamma-ray measurements
Tenma past/current mission
past/current
ISAS X-ray all-sky survey for X-ray bursts and transients
Tophat/MSAM past/current mission
past/current
NASA Infrared and microwave study of the cosmic microwave background radiation
2 MASS past/current mission
past/current
NSF/NASA Near-infrared large-area sky survey; ground-based

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U

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
Uhuru (SAS-A) past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray sky survey; studies of the structure of extended sources

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V

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
Vela 5B past/current mission
past/current
USAF Gamma-ray and x-ray study of the celestial sphere

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W

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
WMAP (MAP) past/current mission
past/current
NASA Microwave measurement of the temperature of the microwave cosmic background radiation

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X

Mission Name/
link to NMC entry
Active Archive/
Information link
Sponsorship Purpose
XMM-Newton past/current mission
past/current
ESA X-ray investigation of emission characteristics of cosmic sources
XTE (RXTE) past/current mission
past/current
NASA X-ray study of temporal and broad-band spectral phenomena associated with compact objects

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Y


Z


If you don't see a mission listed here, you may wish to query the NSSDC Master Catalog.


Sponsoring Agencies
ASI Italian Space Agency
BMBF Germany, Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft, Forschung und Technologie
BMDO US, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization
CESR France, CNRS Centre d'Etudes Spatiales des Rayonnements
DARA German Space Agency
DLR German Aerospace Center
DOD US, Department of Defense
DOE US, Department of Energy
ESA European Space Agency
IKI Russia, Institut Kosmicheskich Issledovaniy(Inst. of Cosmophysical Research)
ISAS Japan, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science
NASA US, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NIVR Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programs
NRAO US, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
NSF US, National Science Foundation
SERC United Kingdom, Science and Engineering Research Council (succeeded by PPARC, Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council)
UK United Kingdom

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Last updated: 18 March 2008