Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics

Exploring the mysteries of Earth's upper atmosphere

The mesosphere and lower thermosphere/ionosphere, atmospheric layers that act as the gateway between Earth and space, are the least explored regions of the Earth’s atmosphere. TIMED (Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics) studies how the Sun and human activity affect these regions, where the Sun’s energy first becomes part of the Earth’s environment.

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:

Research, Instruments

Science Target:

Earth's Atmosphere

Mission Focus:

Earth's Atmosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere

Launch date: December 7, 2001
Prime mission: 2 years

Extended mission: 2025

Lead Institution: Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL)

Partners: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters, National Center for Atmospheric Research/High Altitude Observatory, Naval Research Laboratory, Space Environment Technology (SET), The Aerospace Corporation, University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute, Southwest Research Institute, Computational Physics Inc., University of Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Hampton University, NASA Langley Research Center, Utah State University, G&A Technical Software Inc., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aeronomy Laboratory, Astrophysical Institute of Andalucia (IAA), Air Force Research Laboratory, Stewart Radiance Laboratory, British Antarctic Survey, Federal Data Corporation at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, University of Michigan, Hovemere Limited, University of California Berkeley, CREES-York University, Toronto, Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Rostock University