“When I was orbiting Earth in the space shuttle, I could float over to a window and gaze down at the delicate white clouds, brilliant orange deserts, and sparkling blue water of the planet below. I could see the coral reefs in the oceans, fertile farmlands in the valleys, and twinkling city lights beneath the clouds. Even from space, it is obvious that Earth is a living planet.” — Dr. Sally Ride
Sally Ride EarthKAM is a NASA educational outreach program that enables students, teachers, and the public to learn about Earth from the unique perspective of space. The project was initiated by Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space. The EarthKAM camera was first operated on the International Space Station (ISS) on Expedition 1 in 2001. Sally Ride died in 2012, and in 2013, NASA renamed the program Sally Ride EarthKAM. The Sally Ride EarthKAM camera remains a permanent payload on the ISS, supporting about four missions annually. EarthKAM’s Mission 50 took place between November 10-13, and students around the world were able to request images of specific locations on Earth.
NASA has a familiar adage: Follow The Water, for where there is water, there is life. For Mission 50, Rooftop School’s fourth graders made a list of the places where they would like to see water.
As Sally Ride noted, “The view of Earth is spectacular.”
From November 30 to December 11, 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will brings the world together with hopes of achieving a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.
The Association of Space Explorers reached out to their fellow astronauts to pass on a simple message of solidarity, hope and collaboration to combat climate change and reach our political leaders during such a crucial time.