- NASA hopes to put five new instruments in orbit in 2014
- The launches include three satellites and two devices mounted on the space station
- NASA says the missions will "truly reinvigorate" its Earth observation network
NASA announced an ambitious slate of launches Wednesday aimed at putting new eyes on the Earth and its atmosphere in 2014.
A total of five missions -- three satellites and two instruments that will be mounted on the International Space Station -- are scheduled to go into orbit between February and November, the U.S. space agency said. They'll measure carbon dioxide in the air, water in the soil, rainfall, cloud layers and ocean winds, providing "immediately useful" readings that will help improve both short-term weather forecasts and and long-term climate projections, said Michael Freilich, the director of NASA's Earth Science Division.