New NASA Mission EMIT launched to the International Space Station

Jul 18, 2022

Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT), a new space-based instrument – visible to short wavelength infrared (VSWIR) spectrometer, developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), was successfully launched to the International Space Station on board the SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on July 14. The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft successfully autonomously docked to the forward-facing port of the ISS on July 16.

EMIT is a state-of-the-art imaging spectrometer; it will measure surface mineralogy and mineral dust of the Earth's arid dust source regions. This will help achieve an important science objective - to understand the current heating and cooling impacts of mineral dust emitted into the atmosphere and forecast trends of dust sources in the future.

The mission life expectancy is one year and during this time frame, the instrument will quantify the dust source regions that fall between 52 degrees south and north latitude during solar coverage only. More than one billion high-quality mineral composition observations are planned to enable the science objectives.

The graphic (below) depicts the dust source regions that EMIT will measure over the course of the mission.

Global map highlighting dust source regions, primarily the western US and Mexico, northern Africa and the southwestern tip of Africa, the Middle East, the southwestern portion of South America, and western and eastern Australia.

Source: JPL EMIT website.

Stay tuned for more information on new EMIT data products and resources available from the LP DAAC. In the meantime, listen to this podcast episode from the USGS Eyes on Earth podcast to learn more about EMIT from several members of the EMIT science team.

Subscribe to the LP DAAC listserv by sending a blank email to to be the first to learn about new information about EMIT in the upcoming months.

Additional information can be found on the EMIT website.

Contact LP DAAC User Services for questions/comments.