Since launch in December 1999, Terra MODIS has successfully operated for nearly 15 years, making continuous observations. Data products derived from MODIS observations have significantly contributed to a wide range of studies of key geophysical parameters of the earth’s eco-system of land, ocean, and atmosphere, and their changes over time. The quality of MODIS data products relies on the dedicated effort to monitor and sustain instrument health and operation, to calibrate and update sensor parameters and properties, and to improve calibration algorithms. MODIS observations are made in 36 spectral bands, covering wavelengths from visible to long-wave infrared. The reflective solar bands (1-19 and 26) are primarily calibrated by a solar diffuser (SD) panel and regularly scheduled lunar observations. The thermal emissive bands (20-25 and 27- 36) calibration is referenced to an on-board blackbody (BB) source. On-orbit changes in the sensor spectral and spatial characteristics are monitored by a spectroradiometric calibration assembly (SRCA). This paper provides an overview of Terra MODIS on-orbit operation and calibration activities and implementation strategies. It presents and summarizes sensor on-orbit performance using nearly 15 years of data from its telemetry, on-board calibrators, and lunar observations. Also discussed in this paper are changes in sensor characteristics, corrections applied to maintain MODIS level 1B (L1B) data quality, and efforts for future improvements.