If NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center were to write a holiday letter, there would be no shortage of highlights to share. Gathered here are just a few of the shining moments from the Goddard 'household' in 2012.
Powerful fires currently scorching parts of Russia and Africa sent up plumes of smoke into the atmosphere, images captured on Aug. 2, 2012, by the nation's newest Earth-observing satellite, Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP).
NASA has completed negotiations and finalized the contracts for the spacecraft and instruments that comprise the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) Satellite, NOAA's second next generation operational polar-orbiting satellite, planned to launch in 2017. JPSS-1 will follow the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite to maintain continuity of weather and environmental observations.