Aqua MODIS, also known as the MODIS Flight Model 1 (FM1), was launched on May 4, 2002. It opened its nadir aperture door (NAD) on June 24, 2002, beginning its Earth observing mission. In this paper, we present early results from Aqua MODIS on-orbit calibration and characterization and assess the instrument's overall performance. MODIS has 36 spectral bands located on four focal plane assemblies (FPAs). Bands 1-19, and 26 with wavelengths from 0.412 to 2.1 microns are the reflective solar bands (RSB) that are calibrated on-orbit by a solar diffuser (SD). The degradation of the SD is tracked using a solar diffuser stability monitor (SDSM). The bands 20-25, and 27-36 with wavelengths from 3.75 to 14.5 microns are the thermal emissive bands (TEB) that are calibrated on-orbit by a blackbody (BB). Early results indicate that the on-orbit performance has been in good agreement with the predications determined from pre-launch measurements. Except for band 21, the low gain fire band, band 6, known to have some inoperable detectors from pre-launch characterization, and one noisy detector in band 36, all of the detectors' noise characterizations are within their specifications. Examples of the sensor's short-term and limited long-term responses in both TEB and RSB will be provided to illustrate the sensor's on-orbit stability. In addition, we will show some of the improvements that Aqua MODIS made over its predecessor, Terra MODIS (Protoflight Model - PFM), such as removal of the optical leak into the long-wave infrared (LWIR) photoconductive (PC) bands and reduction of electronic crosstalk and out-of-band (OOB) thermal leak into the short-wave infrared (SWIR) bands.