NASA launched its Aura satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 3:01 a.m. PDT on July 15, 2004. At 4:06 a.m. PDT, Aura was safely deployed into orbit 705 kilometers (438 miles) above Earth. The purpose of the mission is to help us better understand and protect our worlds atmosphere. Aura is the third and final of NASAs Earth Observing System (EOS) flagships. Together with Terra and Aqua, these three missions give scientists the ability to examine our whole world every day in unprecedented detail.
Aura will help scientists answer three key questions: Is the Earths protective ozone layer recovering? What are the processes controlling air quality? How is the Earths climate changing.
See the Aura web site (http://aura.gsfc.nasa.gov) for details.