The statement that a new era in exploration is opening will almost surely bring to mind the venturing of man into space and the ever more imminent exploration of the moon. The reference here, however, is to exploration of earth itself and to the unique capabilities for study of the earth that space technology will provide. Demands for water, minerals, energy, food, and for working, living and recreational space are outrunning our ability to meet them by traditional methods. In order to satisfy these demands, it is necessary now, just as it has been in the past, to look to the activities, the instruments, and the technologies that in part create the pressures for aid in meeting them. Studies being made at the U.S. Geological Survey and elsewhere of the potential applications of remote sensors in space to earth resources research indicate that now, at last, it will be possible to approach solutions on a regional or global basis. This paper discusses the plans for an Earth Resources Observational Satellites Program which will be designed for that purpose.