Category:Earth Science from Space

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GreenPolicy360 / Strategic Demands

New Definitions of Security, National & Global

New Definitions of National Security
Earth Science & Environmental Security
Atmospheric Science
Earth Science

"Thin Blue Layer"

ThinBlue-3 iss030e031276.jpg / Earth System Science / Measuring "Vital Signs"

Earth Right Now | Focusing 'Inward'
Climate Change

Countries INDC Climate Plans - Updates
Climate Change: The Paris Agreement
The INDC/National Plans from the Paris Agreement - 2015
IPCC Report, 2014: Preparing for the Paris Climate Conference

Map of the World wiki commons m.png


Planet Citizen

Earth Science, Monitoring Earth's 'Vital Signs' from Space

Earth Science, Vital Signs
OCO-2, Measuring C02 in Earth's Atmosphere

A Pale Blue Dot
The Only Home We've Got

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark....
There is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
This distant image of our tiny world...
underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another,
and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've got."

Pale Blue Dot from Cassini July 19,2013.jpg

>Earth is changing on all spatial and temporal scales. The purpose of NASA’s Earth science program is to develop a scientific understanding of Earth’s system and its response to natural or human-induced changes and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards.

>Earth science is science in the national interest. While scientific discovery from space is inherent in the Agency’s mission, NASA’s programs in Earth science also are central to three important Presidential initiatives: the Climate Change Research Initiative, Global Earth Observation, and the Oceans Action Plan. NASA pioneers new global environmental observations and research, and works with other federal agencies to improve the operational services they provide to the Nation. These services include: weather forecasting; climate prediction; natural hazard assessment, prediction, and response; and environmental management, including air quality forecasting and land use assessment.

-- NASA Strategic Plan

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Earth Science from Space,_Politics

November 2016

Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’

NASA’s Earth Science division is set to be stripped of funding... Via The Guardian

GreenPolicy - #EarthScience: It is painful to acknowledge how slight the attention has been by the US media toward what is, demonstrably, one of the greatest threats rising in the US Congress.


Jason-3 in Orbit / Mission to Measure & Monitor Sea-level Rise



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Jason-3 launching

The 1,200-pound (550 kg) Jason-3 satellite is the fourth in a series of ocean-monitoring satellites, which are now taking center stage in monitoring Earth's climate. "More than 90 percent of all the heat being trapped in the Earth's system ... is actually going into the ocean," said Laury Miller, Jason-3 lead scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "This makes the ocean perhaps the biggest player in the climate change story."

Scientists can use the information to figure out ocean heights to within 0.2 inches (0.5 cm), said Josh Willis, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "We can really see the rise of the global oceans. This is one of the most important yardsticks we have for human-caused climate change," Willis said, adding that heat, plus runoff water from melting ice sheets, causes ocean levels to climb.

Eyes in the Sky: Green Groups Are Harnessing Data from Space

SkyTruth --

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Globally-averaged temps thru 2015 via NASA Goddard.gif

Planet Citizen/Climate Citizen News --,_Politics

Geosciences satellite fields b.jpg

"New Space", the Public & Private Join Together to Begin a New Era

Democratization of Space
When Doves Fly
Planet API
Planet Citizens, Planet Scientists
Virtual Earth

#Earth360: Eyes in the Sky, Earth Science by Satellite

Space X Continues to Push Toward New Space Horizons


2015 -- NASA has formally certified SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to launch all but the space agency’s most costly robotic science missions, beginning with a a U.S.-French oceanography satellite set for liftoff from California in July.

NASA’s Launch Services Program, which manages the agency’s rocket procurements for research missions, concluded the multi-year certification effort Tuesday, according to George Diller, a NASA spokesperson.

The milestone clears the Falcon 9 rocket to launch NASA’s “medium-risk” science missions, a classification which includes most of the agency’s Earth observation satellites...


Planet Labs Sets New Records

About Planet Labs Documentation Intro

2015 - Private Spending on Space Is Headed for a New Record - Space Race 2.0 #NewSpace

Planet Labs has raised more than $160 million and launched 73 global imaging satellites. The growth was hard to imagine three years ago, when co-founder Will Marshall built the first of the miniature satellites nicknamed “doves” in a Silicon Valley garage.

“A lot of people were very skeptical, and what we were trying to do seemed ludicrous,” said Marshall, a former engineer at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. “But we have assets in orbit, and customers who are very interested in the data. Every time we take a picture, we can see how the world is changing.” -- Bloomberg

Planet Labs, flying Doves unprecedented, observing Planet Earth with 'rapid cadence' imaging opening possibilities never before offered

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Building an API for the Planet: Will Marshall/PlanetLabs [1]

Mission: Democratising Access to Information About the Changing Planet

Time for Planet Labs 'Doves' to fly

Planet Labs "flock" / New Scientist [2] Flock 1

NanoRacks deployment into space [3] [4][5] [6]

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Earth Imaging -- Micro-satellites [7]

"NewSpace" [8] [9]

Nextgen #earthscience in era of #climatechange and #globalsecurity threat

“Five years from now, there might be 200 or more up there..." [10]

Geoscience Satellites -- Start-up companies

BlackBridge [11], Dauria [12], DigitalGlobe [13] [14] [15] GeoEye [16],

Firefly Space Systems [17] [18], GeoOptics [19], NanoRacks [20], [21] [22]

NovaWurks [23], OmniEarth [24] [25] [26] [27], OrbitLogic [28], PlanetiQ [29]

Planet Labs [30] Pulse [31] [32] [33], RapidEye [34], Skybox [35] [36] [37]

Teledyne [38], Tyvak Nano-Sat [39], Urthecast [40]

Geosciences Crops sats b.jpg

OpenNEX, NASA asks public to join in with space data monitoring earth [41]

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On the launch of Planet Labs 'Dove' nanosatellites -- applications yet-to-be developed #OpenData #PlanetCitizens

Robbie Schingler, co-founder of Planet Labs: “We are motivated to make information about the changing planet available to all people, especially the people who need it the most..."

"The imagery could be used by anyone who cares about changes in land use over time.” [42]

"Rapid cadence imagery, like Planet Labs is developing, helps us become better, more sustainable stewards of Earth." [43]

Will Marshall, co-founder of Planet Labs talks of democratization of space: videos [44] [45]

Planet Labs largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites.

The data is expansive and of added value over time:

- humanitarian applications, earth resource monitoring, sustainability and eco-nomics
- extreme event and disaster relief
- food systems, water distribution, improving agriculture
- business intelligence (BI) metrics/performance
- research, science

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June 2014 Google Buys Skybox [46] [47] [48] [49]

[Background] June 18, 2013 Inside a Startup’s Plan to Turn a Swarm of DIY Satellites Into an All-Seeing Eye [50]

June 16, 2014 - Wall Street Journal / by Christopher Mims [51]

By 2016 or so, Skybox will be able to take full images of the Earth twice a day, at a resolution that until last week was illegal to sell commercially — all with just a half-dozen satellites.

By the time its entire fleet of 24 satellites has launched in 2018, Skybox will be imaging the entire Earth at a resolution sufficient to capture, for example, real-time video of cars driving down the highway. And it will be doing it three times a day.

You might think, thanks to weather maps and the satellite view on Google Maps, that such imagery already is readily available. But because satellites were, until recently, so expensive to build and launch, that isn't the case. There are only nine satellites in orbit now that capture high resolution images for the commercial market, and their capabilities are regularly commandeered for national-security purposes by the U.S. government. That means most of the pictures of the Earth that you've seen are of poor quality and years out of date.

At Google, the business of Skybox isn't data, but knowledge. "We think we are going to fundamentally change humanity's understanding of the economic landscape on a daily basis," says Skybox co-founder Dan Berkenstock...

Skybox's images will inevitably lead to apps and services no one can envision — with unknowable disruptive potential. Skybox executives tell me they hope to offer their data to outside developers... In the short term, Google has said it would use Skybox's images to improve the search company's maps.

A patent revealed in May indicates that Google builds its superaccurate maps directly from satellite imagery, and the company has long had a deal with Skybox competitor DigitalGlobe, whose satellites cost 10 times as much as Skybox's and are 10 times heavier, leading to much higher launch costs. DigitalGlobe's stock dipped 4% on news of the Skybox deal...

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May 2014 Skybox and Planet Labs / re Google's purchase of Skybox, Google has a business division called “Earth Enterprise” that provides mapping data for large organizations, institutions and businesses. “Google Earth Enterprise allows you to store and process terabytes of imagery, terrain and vector data on your own server infrastructure, and publish maps securely for your users to view using Google Earth desktop or mobile apps, or through your own application using the Google Maps API..." [52]

Feb 2014 Planet Labs versus Skybox / The next step is something more like a Google for Earth: a search engine where people can find satellite photos taken in real or near-real time that answer questions like “How many ships are in the Port of Houston today?” or “How much corn is currently growing in Iowa?” [53]

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“With all these start-ups, the things you’ll be able to do with satellite images will grow exponentially..." IEEE, May 2014

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June 2014

  • U.S. Department of Commerce lifts ban on satellite images showing features smaller than 20 inches - DigitalGlobe [54] [55] [56] [57]
  • "Companies had not been allowed to make use of images where features smaller than 50cm were visible"
  • Satellites Are Cleared to Take Photos at Mailbox-Level Detail per DigitalGlobe petition
  • Worldview-3 satellite is set to launch in August. Digital Globe [58] [59] says it will now be able to sell images that show features as small as 31cm [60]
  • Sites like Google and Bing Maps will be able to use higher-quality satellite images in near real-time [61] [62]... eventually real-time

GP360: Earth-monitoring, data-sharing, open source, is in the wings...

Citizen-networking/schools-education space-earth projects -- education looks at #earthscience from space... [63] [64]

24/7 high-definition video of Earth <Urthecast-ISS> [65] Urthecast APIs

Live from the International Space Station [66] [67] [68] [69]

Earth sciences/NASA-JPL and gov contractors 'Eyes on the Earth'

Geosciences agriculture-farms nasa.jpg

Feb 2014

Until recently, since the launch of the original Landsat program in 1972, generating images of Earth from space has been the near-exclusive domain of enormous, multi-million dollar satellites sponsored by nations and major defense corporations.

  • New micro-satellites, including those launched from the ISS, aim to make real-time imaging available for a fraction of the past decades price and move us from military-defense-communication operations to economic/entrepreneurial functions, 'earth systems-monitoring' and biosphere sustainability, space 'tourism' and low earth orbit travel...

Rebecca Google Outreach.jpg

Google Earth Outreach -- Satellites and Mapping as Tools for Citizen Activism

Thank you Rebecca Moore !

With Google Earth Outreach as a platform for action, Rebecca has led local and global initiatives ...

Planet Citizen Action

Global Forest Watch & Global Fishing Watch are two most recent successful launches.

Here's a tip of our green hat to Rebecca's 'planet citizen' work

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Planet Citizen #Earth360

Global Fishing Watch

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Global Forest Watch


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Earth systems-monitoring

Earth Imaging - background – 2007 - Acquiring large data sets of Earth imagery in a simple, low-cost way, represents a new market opportunity beginning to be addressed. New telescope designs enable low-cost satellites with that purpose. [70]

Geosciences NatGeo-openlandscape deforestation.jpg

Jan 2014 - "Flocking" "Doves" "Nanosatellites" -

Google goes mapping -

Swarms of small satellites set to deliver close to real-time imagery -

Geosciences Brazil Terra satellite b.jpg

Dec 2013

"How Planet Labs Is Saving the Earth with 'Homemade' Satellites. It took less than six months to build twenty-eight of them"...


Nov 2013

Flock of Mini- and Micro-sats delivered to space with international Dnepr co-venture -

'Minotaur 1 delivers 29 mini's/CubeSats including first-ever design/build satellite project of a US high school'

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CubeSats - CubeSat specifications accomplish several high-level goals. Simplification of the satellite's infrastructure makes it possible to design and produce workable satellites at low cost.... Encapsulation of the launcher–payload interface takes away the prohibitive amount of managerial work... Unification among payloads and launchers enables quick exchanges of payloads and utilization of launch opportunities...

CubeSat 'nano-satellites' aim to adhere to the standards described in the CubeSat design specification -- CubeSats initiatives were conceived from educational institutions... In 2004, with their relatively small size, first-gen CubeSats could each be made and launched to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) for an estimated $65,000–$80,000. Acc to Wikipedia, 'recent' launch prices have been $100,000-$125,000, plus approximately $10,000 to construct a CubeSat. This price tag, far lower than most satellite launches, has made CubeSat a viable option for schools and universities across the world.

CubeSats List of CubeSats

Sept 2013

Sensors and Systems - “Every year the technology improves, with better computers and storage and payloads. The technological evolution improves, price points continue to come down, and now with a small 150 to 300 kg spacecraft for $10 to $20 million you can do what you were doing with a 1,000 kg spacecraft five to 10 years ago for $500 million.” Surrey Satellite Technology-RapidEye satellite imagery “Changing the Economics of Space” ... co-ventures/joint ventures/'ride-alongs'/shared platforms/accessible data

<more> - note connection to SpaceX - Elon Musk - note Elon Muck opening up the Tesla platform on June 12, 2014 - -

June 2013

Citizens in Space -

Opening up to understanding and interacting with our eco-operating systems

Share-able earth science data enabling earth biosphere systems monitoring/preservation policy advocacy by #globalcitizen orgs


Earth systems, monitoring over time -

GEO - Group on Earth Observations -

GEOSS - Global Earth Observation System of Systems -

The Congressman of 'Big Science'

George E. Brown
George Brown, Sci Com't.jpg

GreenPolicy Siterunner: Going back a number of years to George E. Brown, a Congressman from East LA for decades and a mentor to GreenPolicy360's siterunner, we look at one of the projects that George Brown worked to pioneer (and save from termination during cutbacks of the Ronald Reagan presidency.) The economic/ecological/scientific benefits of LANDSAT, for over fifty years now in operation, are immense. Google Earth's move to establish "Timelapse" maps is another in a profound number of extensions and uses to which the earth science of LANDSAT is being employed to benefit environmental security.

George Brown and LANDSAT, one of his many big science accomplishments, a legacy that continues on and on... many applications, many uses far beyond the original visionaries who proposed and engineered the first generation of earth science from space....

Google Earth Engine / Time Lapse

Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab's Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time.

Using Earth Engine, Google Earth Timelapse combines over 5 million satellite images acquired over the past three decades by 5 different satellites. The majority of the images come from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that has observed the Earth since the 1970s. For 2015 and 2016, we combined Landsat 8 imagery with imagery from Sentinel-2A, part of the European Commission and European Space Agency's Copernicus Earth observation program.

Search, pan, or zoom around to begin exploring the new Earth Engine Timelapse, or check out Google Earth's YouTube highlights. To embed the timelapse viewer on your site, use the “Share or embed” button above. You can also create a Timelapse tour that moves from one destination to another over time using the Timelapse Tour Editor.

Timelapse is an example that illustrates the power of Earth Engine’s cloud-computing model, which enables users such as scientists, researchers, and journalists to detect changes, map trends, and quantify differences on the Earth's surface using Google’s computational infrastructure and the multi-petabyte Earth Engine data catalog.

Data sources

  • NASA Landsat Program, Landsat 4 (1984-1993), Landsat 5 TM (1984-2012), Landsat 7 ETM+ (1999-2013), Landsat 8 OLI (2013-2016), courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls.
  • Copernicus Sentinel Program, Sentinel 2A MSI Level 1C, European Union/ESA/Copernicus, 2015-2016.
  • MOD09GA MODIS/Terra Surface Reflectance Daily L2G. NASA EOSDIS Land Processes DAAC, 2000-2016.
  • MCD43A4 MODIS Terra+Aqua Nadir BRDF-Adjusted Reflectance 16-Day L3. NASA EOSDIS Land Processes DAAC, 2000-2016.
  • ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model. National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA.
  • Land Water Mask Derived from MODIS and SRTM L3. Version 5. NASA EOSDIS Land Processes DAAC.
  • Hansen Global Forest Change v1.2 (2000-2014).


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Pages in category "Earth Science from Space"

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