Remote Sensing, 1961 and today

Today, NASA, geospatial scientists, and people from around the world celebrate the first time that we saw Earth, in a now familiar view, from space. Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., the first American in space, took the famous photo from the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule on May 5, 1961.  The Space Fellowship website and community discuss “The Pioneering Mercury Astronauts Launched America’s Future” . The Kennedy Space Center Historical Archive of Manned Space Flights gives a detailed mission objective for the Freedom 7  from May 5th. If you want to relive the moment, Extreme Tech provides a live video feed of Earth from Space, as part of the  High Definition Earth Viewing experiment.

The Federation of American Scientists has an information rich remote sensing tutorial that states, “Before entering this Overview, ponder this slogan: REMOTE SENSING is the BACKBONE of the SPACE PROGRAM”.   The backbone of modern remote sensing might well be education, innovation, and experimentation – Alan B. Shepard said that , “The first plane ride was in a homemade glider my buddy and I built. Unfortunately we didn’t get more than four feet off the ground, because it crashed.”   Educators, citizen scientists, and hobbyists of all types are creating hands-on remote sensing and unmanned vehicle education that will inspire the next generation.