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The Inspiration of Space Can Drive the Economy

by Matt Ball on April 17, 2012

The coincidence of Shuttle Discovery flying over Washington monuments to be retired and go on public display, with today’s 28th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, provides a good contrast regarding the country’s plans and ambitions with space and earth observation. Most of the speakers at this opening day of the symposium made some mention […]


NASA Updates Eyes on Earth Visualization Site

by Matt Ball on March 23, 2012

Eyes on Earth is an interactive visualization site for images and data from NASA’s 15 currently operating earth satellites. There are a number of new features, with timelines, an image gallery, an improved interface, and up-to-date data for sea level height and surface temperature. The aim is a daily view view of our dynamic planet […]


NASA Releases New Global Forest Height Map

by Matt Ball on February 20, 2012

NASA has just released a high-resolution 3D map of the world’s forests, that documents forest heights. The data was compiled via lidar from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System instrument on NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat). With forest heights, researchers can more accurately assess biomass and the connections of forest height to wildlife […]


NASA Moon Gravity Mission to Begin on New Year’s Day

by Matt Ball on December 27, 2011

The twin Grail lunar exploration spacecraft that NASA launched in September will begin their gravity mapping mission on New Year’s Day. The Grail probes, standing for Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, will both orbit the moon in tandem at 35 miles above the surface, and an average separation of 124 miles. The probes will speed […]


High Resolution Topographic Map of the Moon Released

by Matt Ball on November 17, 2011

Data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been processed, and a highly detailed and nearly global topographic map of the moon has been released. The topographic map was created at the Arizona State University in Tempe, at a pixel-scale resolution close to 100 meters. The Global Lunar DTM 100 m topographic model (GLD100), was […]


NASA successfully launched the NPOESS  (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System) Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite early this morning from Vandenberg Air Force. The polar-orbiting satellite is a joint project between NASA and NOAA, with NASA using it as a research project and NOAA collecting weather details for forecasting and environmental monitoring. The satellite features five […]


NASA has just launched the 15th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) crew, sending six astronauts, researchers and habitat technicians to live for ten days in an underwater habitat three miles off the coast of Key Largo. This is a training mission for plans to send a crew to visit an asteroid, using the weightless […]


NASA Launches International Space Apps Challenge

by Matt Ball on September 21, 2011

NASA is working with space agencies around the world to make the International Space Station more open for scientists and citizens as a platform to address challenges of global importance. The International Space Apps Challenge embraces open data, open source, and open technology to accelerate the creation of solutions. The application challenge is currently in […]


Today, NASA launched its 14th earth science satellite into space with the launch of the Aquarius/SAC-D Sea Surface Salinity satellite. The satellite will provide a monthly map of sea salt movement and data that will help understand global climate change and ocean currents. The $287 million satellite measures the microwave energy emitted from the ocean […]


At the culmination of Esri’s Forestry GIS Solutions Conference there was a field day that began with a tour of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This facility in Pasadena, Calif. employs more than 5,000 people with the primary mission of robotic exploration of space. The highlight of the event was certainly the chance to overlook the […]