In Pictures: 21 critical future NASA missions

NASA space plans include trips to Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and the Sun as well as climate change operations

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Digging the dirt: The Soil Moisture Active & Passive satellite will provide global measurements of soil moisture and its freeze/thaw condition. Such measurements will be used to aid in understanding the processes that link water, energy and carbon cycles, and to extend the capabilities of weather and climate prediction models, NASA said. The system is still in the developmental stage.

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In Pictures: 21 critical future NASA missions

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