Blue Marble

This spectacular “Blue Marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public.

Much of the information contained in this image came from a single remote-sensing device-NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS.

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Send Your Name to the Moon!

Names will be collected and placed onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft for its historic mission bringing NASA back to the moon. You will also receive a certificate showcasing your support of the mission.

The deadline for participation is July 25, 2008, hurry!

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is the first mission in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration, a plan to return to the moon and then to travel to Mars and beyond. LRO will launch no earlier than November 24, 2008, with the objectives to finding safe landing sites, locate potential resources, characterize the radiation environment, and demonstrate new technology.

Your Name on the Red Planet

“Imagine it could be centuries from now, on the planet Mars, when a man, or a woman, or perhaps a child, will come across this small disk. This person may be encased in an elaborate space suit, or perhaps breathing freely in the newly oxygenated atmosphere of the former Red Planet. The surrounding landscape might be that of a harsh red desert, as it is today, or it might be green rolling hills, the result of intense terra-forming. We do not know. All we know is that when this future Martian picks up this tame-looking disk, he or she will hold in their hands a message from our world, addressed to theirs.

The disk will be part of a relic of an ancient unmanned spacecraft named Phoenix, which landed on the planet in 2008. Possibly preserved as a historic memento, perhaps long abandoned and forgotten, the Phoenix will have kept its secret. And now, at last, its time had come and its message revealed. The ancient digital format of the small disk may pose a problem, but surely not an insurmountable one for these technologically advanced pioneers. Soon the images will appear on their screens, bearing greetings from visionaries of a distant time, on a distant world.”

“Visions of Mars” is a message from our world to future human inhabitants on Mars, which will launch on its way to the Red Planet in 2007 aboard the spacecraft Phoenix. Along with personal messages from leading space visionaries of our time, the message will include a priceless collection of Mars literature and art, and a list of hundreds of thousands of names of space enthusiasts from around the world. The entire collection will be encoded on a mini-DVD provided by The Planetary Society, which will be affixed to the spacecraft.

Fly your name to Mars on Phoenix now!

Wish Upon the Moon!

You might not be able to set your footstep on the Moon, but your name and wishes can! Thanks to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Planetary Society to make this happen.

JAXA will launch the lunar orbiter SELENE on a H-IIA Launch Vehicle from Tanegashima Space Center in the summer of 2007. SELENE stands for SELenological and ENgineering Explorer, which consists of three separate spacecraft — a main spacecraft that will circle the Moon in an elliptical orbit and two small relay satellites that will assume a polar orbit. This project that aims to collect closely featured scientific data on the formation of the moon and its transitional history up to today, which is the biggest lunar exploration project since the Apollo Project.

JAXA is now accepting public names and messages to deliver to the moon aboard the SELENE. Fly your wishes to the Moon now!