NASA Web Project Lets Students Control Camera on Space Shuttle

The Technology Source, January 1999<

NASA has teamed up with schools to provide images of Earth from the Space Shuttle, which students can download via the Web for use in various classroom projects.

In this program, called “Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students” (EarthKAM), students remotely control a digital camera that astronauts have mounted on a window in the Space Shuttle. While the shuttle is in orbit, students are able to select what portions of Earth they want imaged. These choices are sent to the camera in the shuttle, and then the images are sent back to Earth, where students can access them through a Web site maintained by NASA and the University of California at San Diego.

Before they can participate, students must train for 10-15 hours to learn how to target the camera and then work the images once they download them.

Students use the images they receive from the shuttle for various math, science, and geography assignments in the classroom that require real-time imagery of the Earth from space.

You can find the EarthKAM Web site at:

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at