Published: January 10, 2024

NASA and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) have teamed up to create a powerful new space mission that will track our changing Earth in fine detail. The satellite, called NISAR, will use an advanced radar system to deepen our understanding of deforestation, shrinking glaciers and sea ice loss, natural hazards, climate change, and other global vital signs.

Short for NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, NISAR features two radar instruments: one from ISRO, and one built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. Peering through cloud cover and vegetation, the satellite will bounce radar signals off nearly all the planet’s land and ice twice every 12 days, monitoring motions of the surface down to fractions of an inch along with changes in other characteristics.

NISAR is undergoing final integration and testing at ISRO’s satellite facility in Bengaluru, India, and will launch from ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. Launch is expected in early 2024; the specific date will be announced by ISRO.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ISRO