Aura (Latin for breeze) was launched July 15, 2004. Aura is part of the Earth Science Projects Division, a program dedicated to monitoring the complex interactions that affect the globe using NASA satellites and data systems. Aura's four instruments study the atmosphere's chemistry and dynamics. The satellite's measurements will enable scientists to investigate questions about ozone trends, air quality changes, and their linkage to climate change. Aura's measurements will provide accurate data for predictive models and provide useful information for local and national agency decision support systems.
The instruments aboard NOAA’s Suomi NPP bridge some of the observational capabilities from NASA Aura, launched in 2004, to the other satellite instruments in NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), which includes two satellites yet to be launched.