Navigation What's NewTable of Contentsoverview

DEDICATION

of the

REMOTE SENSING TUTORIAL

To The Memory of

SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER (STS 51) AND COLUMBIA (STS 107) ASTRONAUTS

WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES TO UPHOLD A NASA TRADITION:

SPACE - FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL MANKIND

Space is an exciting place to visit and work in! Unmanned satellites are operating there all the time. But the presence of humans in space has a special allure. Since the first flights of cosmonauts (initially, Russians) and astronauts (initially, Americans), select crews of men and women have orbited the Earth and a few have landed on the Moon. This is exciting - still not routine - but unfortunately dangerous. Of the 100+ missions of the Space Transport System (STS), two of these Space Shuttles have met with disaster, with loss of all onboard. This Tutorial is dedicated with pride to those 14 individuals making up their crews.

The first disaster was the loss of the Shuttle Challenger (STS-51), which exploded (because of ice in the fuel system) upon takeoff on January 28, 1986, as seen in this photo:

The trail of smoke and fire lining the path of Challenger after it explodes a minute plus into takeoff.

The seven astronauts onboard are shown in this group picture:

The crew of STS-51

The STS-51 Crew:

Back Row (Left to Right): ELLISON ONIZUKA, CHRISTA McCAULLIFE, GREGORY JARVIS, JUDITH RESNIK

Front Row (L to R): MICHAEL SMITH, FRANCIS SCOBEE, RONALD McNAIR

Now to the second catastrophe: Columbia was the first ever Space Shuttle to go into space, on April 12, 1981, as seen in liftoff here:

STS-1, the first flight of a Shuttle, in this photo - Columbia.

Tragically, Columbia was damaged during launch by a piece of outer covering from one of the auxiliary tanks that had broken loose and struck the Shuttle's front left edge. Upon re-entry at the end of the mission, the damaged edge allowed hot thin air to enter the wing and spread its destructive effects. This began as the spaceship passed over the West Coast of the United States. Columbia's last moments in space started at 9:00 AM EST as it began its final break up over central Texas:

Remote Sensing played a role in monitoring this tragic event. Below is a weather radar image of the stretched out debris and smoke from the exploded Shuttle Columbia extending from north-central Texas to western Louisiana. The strong signals from the Dallas-Fort Worth area are "ground clutter" caused by radar reflections from buildings.

Here is a pre-flight photo of the STS-107 crew:

The Crew From Left to Right:

Seated: RICK HUSBAND, KALPANA CHAWLA, WILLIAM McCOOL

Standing: DAVID BROWN, LAUREL CLARK, MICHAEL ANDERSON, AND ILAN RAMON

One can surmise that this thought would be the Columbia crew's earnest wish if they could communicate to us from the hereafter:

LIKE THE PHOENIX OF ANCIENT LORE, LET MANNED SPACEFLIGHT RISE AGAIN AND ASTRONAUTS CONTINUE TO EXPLORE THE SKIES OF EARTH AND THE PLANETS.

THIS HAS HAPPENED TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATER WITH THE SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH ON JULY 26, 2005 WITH THE DISCOVERY SHUTTLE, FOLLOWING A LONG PERIOD IN WHICH SAFETY BECAME THE FOREMOST ISSUE. THIS MISSION (STS-108) IS FOCUSED ON TESTING NEW SAFETY FEATURES AS WELL AS SUPPLYING THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.

Launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery from Cape Canaveral as manned spaceflight resumed on July 26, 2005




FOREWORD

By William Campbell

Throughout the years, NASA's Earth Sciences program has primarily focused on providing high quality data products to its science community. NASA also recognizes the need to increase its involvement with the general public, including areas of information and education. Many different Earth-sensing satellites, with diverse sensors mounted on sophisticated platforms, are in Earth orbit or soon to be launched. These sensors are designed to cover a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum and are generating enormous amounts of data that must be processed, stored, and made available to the user community.

This rich source of unique, repetitive, global coverage produces valuable data and information for applications as diverse as forest fire monitoring and grassland inventory in Mongolia, early typhoon warning over the vast Pacific Ocean, flood assessment in coastal zones around the Bay of Bengal, and crop health and growth within the plains of the United States. Additionally, the commercial realm is also developing and launching various high resolution satellites and marketing these data worldwide.

The Applied Information Sciences Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is heavily involved in technology outreach and transfer. As part of this activity, we recognized the need for a highly intuitive, easily accessible remote sensing tutorial that hopefully will serve as a primer for the new user as well as a teaching tool for the educational community. We wanted this Tutorial to provide a detailed understanding of the utility of the data in light of the fundamental principles of electromagnetic energy, especially as they relate to sensor design and function.

Enter Dr. Nicholas Short, a former NASA Goddard employee and author/editor of four NASA-sponsored books (Mission to Earth: Landsat Views the World; The Landsat Tutorial Workbook; The HCMM Anthology; and Geomorphology from Space) germane to the subject of remote sensing. We asked Nick if he would be willing to put his significant experience and talents to work to present an updated and expanded version of his past efforts. The result is this Internet website and a CD-ROM (also tied to the Internet) entitled "The Remote Sensing Tutorial". As the CD/Net versions progressed, we were joined by the Air Force Academy as a co-sponsor, followed by GST and then Goddard's EOS program in supporting the later phases of the project. We trust you will find the Tutorial informative and useful, and when you are done, please pass it on to a colleague or friend. Remember, think globally and act locally.

William J. Campbell (now retired
Head/Code 935
Applied Information Sciences Branch
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771