Ten years ago, on May 4, 2002, NASA’s Aqua spacecraft launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying six Earth-observing instruments to collect data on Earth’s water and many other aspects of the Earth system. Ten years later, the Aqua spacecraft has well exceeded its six-year design life, and it and several of its instruments are still going strong. The Aqua data have proven of immense value for a wide variety of practical purposes, including providing data for improved weather forecasts and for monitoring dust storms, forest fires, floods, volcanic ash, sea ice, oil spills, and a species of cyanobacteria linked to toxic red tides. The mission goals, however, have always been centered on the science facilitated by the mission; and indeed, Aqua-facilitated science has far exceeded all pre-launch mission-success criteria. The Aqua data have been used in thousands of scientific publications and have led to results ranging from the quantification of the energy imbalance at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere to the observation and analysis of such occurrences as the cold wake following the passage of Hurricane Katrina and the September 2007 record minimum in Arctic sea ice coverage. Aqua data have provided, for example, the first global maps and global animations of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and the first global view of ocean chlorophyll fluorescence, the former relevant to greenhouse-gas warming of the atmosphere and the latter relevant to phytoplankton physiology. Despite Aqua’s six-year design life, five of its six Earth-observing instruments operated for over nine years, and four continue to work excellently. The hope is that they will collect data for years to come, as the spacecraft has enough fuel on board to last at least into the early 2020s.