Space science has been called “the collection of scientific problems to which space vehicles can make some specific contributions not achievable by ground-based experiments.” Geography, the most spatial of the sciences, has now been marked as one of these “space sciences.” The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is sponsoring an investigation to identify the Potential geographic benefits from the nation’s space program. This is part of NASA’s long-range inquiry to determine the kinds of scientific activities which might profitably be carried out on future space missions. Among such future activities which are now being planned by NASA are a series of manned earth orbital missions, many of which would be devoted to research. Experiments in physics, astronomy, geophysics, meteorology, and biology are being discussed for these long-range missions. The question which is being put to geographers is, essentially, what would it mean to geographic research to have an observation satellite (or many such satellites) orbiting the earth, gathering data about earth-surface features and environments?
Additional publication details
Geographic data from space
Association of American Geographers
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center