All Press Releases for March 04, 2013

Record Number of Students Control Space Station Camera


  • Slider Image
    A picture of the east coast of Massachusetts taken as part of the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students (EarthKAM) mission. (EarthKAM)
  • Slider Image
    A photo of contrails over Lisbon, Portugal, as seen from the space station. This picture was taken as part of the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students (EarthKAM) mission. (EarthKAM)
  • Slider Image
    EarthKAM enables 1000s of students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew's perspective using the Internet to control a digital camera mounted aboard the ISS. (NASA)

    HOUSTON, TX, March 04, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Ever wonder what it's like to control a camera on the International Space Station? More than 30,000 students found out in late January as part of the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students (EarthKAM) mission. More than 380 school groups from the United States and around the world were involved, setting a participation record. Typically, between 8,000 and 10,000 students take part in a given EarthKAM mission.

"The increase in the number of students participating in this space station mission is incredible," said Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator for education. "EarthKAM allows these future scientists and engineers to take an active role in research about the space station, and that truly honors the vision and legacy of Sally Ride."

EarthKAM conducts four missions a year and the next one is planned for spring.

EarthKAM allows students and teachers to explore Earth from the unique perspective of space. During three to five EarthKAM missions each year, students can control a digital camera aboard the space station to capture images of almost any place on Earth. These images are downloaded from the space station to EarthKAM and are then available on the Web for viewing and sharing by participating classrooms.

Along with learning guides, students use the images to study Earth and space science, mathematics, geography and other humanities subjects. The late Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, started the program, originally called KidSat, in 1995. The KidSat camera flew on several space shuttle missions and was modified into the current EarthKAM project in 2001.

EarthKAM is sponsored by Sally Ride Science, the company Ride founded to inspire girls and boys to pursue careers in science and engineering. The control center for the experiment is on the campus of the University of California, San Diego.

For more information on past, ongoing, and future ISS research activities, including research results and publications, visit:

If you are interested in subscribing to updates from the ISS Program Science Office, visit:

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:

# # #

Contact Information

Jenny Knotts / Josh Byerly
NASA Johnson Space Center
Voice: 281-483-5111
E-Mail: Email Us Here
Website: Visit Our Website

Comment on this story...