January Mission Will Let Students All Over the World Capture Images of the Earth from the International Space Station

San Diego, CA, January 15, 2015—Sally Ride Science today announced that a new mission is scheduled for Sally Ride EarthKAM, from Tuesday, January 27 through Friday, January 30.

During the mission, students from around the world will be able to take snapshots of Earth from space by operating a camera aboard the International Space Station (ISS). To take part in the mission, or to learn more about the program or view images from previous missions, visit https://earthkam.ucsd.edu/home.

“When Sally Ride became the first American woman to soar into space, one of her favorite things to do was to float over to a window on the space shuttle and look down on Earth. She was amazed by the view of our beautiful blue planet wrapped in its thin blanket of air. Sally wanted to share that view with young people all over the world,” said Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, CEO and cofounder of Sally Ride Science. “In 1995, she came up with the idea of putting a camera on the space shuttle so that students could snap images of different places on Earth, a program that eventually became the Sally Ride EarthKAM.”

During a Sally Ride EarthKAM mission, students at participating schools log in to the EarthKAM website and request images based on their classroom investigations. Their requests are processed at the Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission Operations Center, located at UCSD and modeled after NASA’s Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. A staff consisting of UCSD undergraduate students and Sally Ride EarthKAM advisors supports and maintains the MOC. Following a mission, students and teachers return to the EarthKAM website to view and download images.

More than 500,000 students, representing thousands of schools in 78 countries, have participated in EarthKAM since the program began—including as many as 50,000 students from 40 countries in a single mission—taking nearly 80,000 images of Earth. The image collection and accompanying learning guides and activities—all available for public access on the Sally Ride EarthKAM website—have supported class projects in Earth science, space science, geography, social studies, mathematics, communications, and art.


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