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Exploring Earth from Space

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.
Sally Ride
The view from the space shuttle's window inspired Sally Ride to start EarthKAM. She wanted students all over the world to share the incredible learning experience of observing our planet from space.
Sally Ride in Space

Before your class joins a Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission...
Explore these topics and activities with your students to prepare them to get the most from their EarthKAM mission.

Get to know our Earth
Learn about Earth's oceans, land, atmosphere, and living things, and how they interact.
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Earth's rotation and orbit
Investigate Earth's orbit, rotation, and tilt, and what causes night and day and the seasons.
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Our place in the solar system
Explore our solar system and how Earth fits into it.
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What we have explored so far
Find out about space exploration, from robotic probes to spacecraft carrying people.
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A matter of scale
How high up is the ISS, and how much of Earth can we see in Sally Ride EarthKAM photos?
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How have people affected our planet?
Investigate the different ways that human activities are changing our planet.
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The story of the ISS and EarthKAM
Learn about the International Space Station and how Sally Ride EarthKAM got started.
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How Sally Ride EarthKAM works
Follow a Sally Ride EarthKAM mission from beginning to end.
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Interpreting EarthKAM images
Practice identifying and investigating Sally Ride EarthKAM images.
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Advanced activity: Exploring orbits
Encourage students who want to learn more to read about different aspects of orbits, including orbital mechanics.
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