Soon to be operating from the International Space Station, NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) mission will comprehensively measure the mineral composition of Earth’s mineral dust source regions to help scientists understand how dust particles carried by wind heat or cool our planet as they move through the atmosphere. In addition to potentially influencing warming on regional and global scales, dust can affect cloud formation, air quality, and human health. When deposited in the ocean, dust can also trigger blooms of microscopic algae.

To make these measurements, EMIT will use an imaging spectrometer to measure visible and infrared light reflecting from surfaces below. EMIT is currently scheduled to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 7, 2022, as part of SpaceX’s 25th commercial resupply services mission for NASA.

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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech