Shuttle-Mir History/Science - Earth Sciences

Our solar system is dynamic and ever-changing, and there are many unanswered questions concerning both its origin and its future. During the Shuttle-Mir program, scientists studied the history of the development of the different planetary systems, as well as the outlook for our own planet Earth.

Shuttle-Mir scientists from both the United States and Russia also studied our own planet Earth, and how events such as destruction of rain forests, global warming, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions impact our Earth. Scientists used the Mir Space Station as a planetary observatory in space, and also used space technology such as satellites, remote sensing, and space photography to make detailed assessments of the Earth's land and water.

Equipment on the Mir's Priroda module was used to analyze changes in the biosphere and the atmosphere. Scientists also studied seasonal changes over several target areas on land (Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, and the Nile River, to name just two examples) and in water (such as, in the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Chesapeake Bay).

Furthermore, extensive inflight photography was done to map changes to specific geographical sites. Scientists worked to ensure that the Mir's Earth observation equipment and U.S. satellite equipment were calibrated correctly to yield comparable data. The outcome of this joint Shuttle-Mir research will be an Earth observation database consisting of data and images to be used by researchers worldwide.

NASA hopes that these experiments will move scientists one step closer to solving the unanswered questions about our solar system.


Experiments List:
Mir Window Survey
Visual Earth Observations (OBS)
Watershed Hydrologic Studies


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Page last updated: 07/16/1999

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