Monitoring Plant Health from Space: NASA’s ECOSTRESS Mission


Published: June 25, 2018

ECOSTRESS is a new NASA Earth science mission to study how effectively plants use water by measuring their temperature from space. ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) is set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in summer 2018, and will be affixed to the outside of the International Space Station where it will make its temperature measurements. ECOSTRESS is a pathfinding instrument that NASA has developed to study plant health and water stress and improve monitoring of drought and agricultural vulnerabilities from the International Space Station. Data from ECOSTRESS will also enable other science and applied science investigations around monitoring volcanoes, urban heat stress, wildfires, and coastal and inland water bodies. NASA monitors Earth's vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth's interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet. For more about ECOSTRESS, visit

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