From breaking the ice
on Jupiter's moon Europa to going Captain Ahab on comets
, NASA's been quite busy formulating all sorts of "strategery" for future projects lately. But just because the space agency has to pay Russians to hitch a ride to space these days doesn't mean it has nothing going on in the present. Check out the first image from NASA's NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite. The satellite launched October 28th and, eventually, will be able to measure anything from ocean temps to fire locations. While it can't do all of that just yet, the NPP satellite is at least capable of taking global images with its Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The satellite is placed in a sun-synchronous orbit that lets it sync with the areas it covers at roughly the same time of day. The result? All images will have the same lighting since the satellite maintains the same angle between the Earth and the sun.