Student Nitric Oxide Explorer

Student-led mission to explore Earth's mesosphere and lower thermosphere

The Student Nitric Oxide Explorer (SNOE) measured nitric oxide density in the Earth’s lower thermosphere and analyzed how the Sun and the Earth’s magnetosphere affect its abundance. Under the supervision of LASP and industry mentors, University of Colorado students worked on the design, built the spacecraft and instruments, wrote the flight software, integrated and tested the instruments and subsystems, and integrated with the launch vehicle, and analyzed the mission data.

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:

Research, Instruments, Data, Mission Operations, Lead Institute

Science Target:

Sun, Earth's Atmosphere

Mission Focus:

Climate, Earth's Atmosphere, Mesosphere, Solar Irradiance, Thermosphere

Primary Mission Site:

SNOE mission logo. The logo has an graphic of the SNOE spacecraft floating over an aurora. Text on the logo says: Student Nitric Oxide Explorer, University of Colorado

Launch Date: February 25, 1998
Decommission Date: December 13, 2003
Mission Duration: 5 years

Lead Institution: LASP

Lead Funding Agency: NASA & USRA

Partners: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center,
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)