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Earth and Space Sciences

The International Space Station serves as a unique platform for observing Earth with both hands-on and automated equipment. 

View of Earth from the ISS with the suns glow in distance

Crew Earth Observations

Station crew members have produced hundreds of thousands of images, recording phenomena such as storms in real time, observing natural events such as volcanic eruptions as they happen, and providing input to ground personnel for programming automated Earth-sensing systems. Having a crew on board provides flexibility, a significant advantage over sensors on robotic spacecraft.

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male astronaut holding a camera and pointing it out a window in the cupola of the space station while taking pictures of Earth
NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock, Expedition 25 commander, uses a still camera to photograph the topography of a point on Earth from a window in the Cupola of the International Space Station.
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Astrophysics on the Space Station

The outside of the International Space Station provides a perch for experiments that reach far into and beyond the galaxy,…

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