NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission launched on January 31, 2015 into a sun-synchronous 6 am/6 pm orbit with an objective to produce global mapping of high-resolution soil moisture and freeze-thaw state every 2-3 days using an L-band (active) radar and an L-band (passive) radiometer. The SMAP radiometer began acquiring routine science data on March 31, 2015 and continues to operate nominally. SMAP's radiometer-derived soil moisture product (L2-SM-P) provides soil moisture estimates posted on a 36 km fixed Earth grid using brightness temperature observations from descending (6 am) passes and ancillary data. A beta quality version of L2-SM-P was released to the public in September, 2015, with the fully validated L2-SM-P soil moisture data expected to be released in May, 2016. Additional improvements (including optimization of retrieval algorithm parameters and upscaling approaches) and methodology expansions (including increasing the number of core sites, model-based intercomparisons, and results from several intensive field campaigns) are anticipated in moving from accuracy assessment of the beta quality data to an evaluation of the fully validated L2-SM-P data product.