While this agency is perhaps most known for explorations beyond Earth, for decades, NASA has been dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of one of the most complex objects in the universe — planet Earth. Because of NASA’s commitment to Earth science, we have developed an understanding of our home planet that is unmatched in human history. But there is still so much more to learn. Scores of NASA satellites are expanding our knowledge and in the process helping save lives through improved response to natural disasters, and helping us better cope with environmental, health, and energy challenges that know no borders.
In recent years NASA has also taken steps to minimize our footprint on the planet by constructing green buildings and investing in green aviation research to inspire the development of more fuel-efficient aircraft and spark the start of a new electric airplane industry.
In the spirit of stewardship exemplified by our agency, I encourage you to participate in Earth Day educational events, programs, and activities planned at your center or in your local community. Whether you decide to walk to work, volunteer for a local community clean-up, or talk to students about NASA’s Earth science or green aviation research, let us celebrate this planet we call home on Earth Day and all year long.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden for Earth Day 2012
It’s no accident that we are holding the International Space Apps Challenge on the same weekend as Earth Day. NASA’s vision to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind has as much impact for how we live on Earth as for how we will explore beyond the Earth.
How can you make a difference?
- Have an idea for a cool app to celebrate Earth Day? The only limit is your creativity! Join the challenge here. (You must be registered for the International Space Apps Challenge for your solution to be eligible for global judging.)
- Get involved in Fragile Oasis, where we are connecting Space and Earth every day. “It is very difficult to look at our beautiful Earth from space without being moved in some way. One of the main goals of Fragile Oasis is to share this orbital perspective and inspire people to go out and make a difference; to go out and somehow make life better for those with whom they share this fragile oasis. The Fragile Oasis community was established to unite in the common goal of sharing our humanity and improving our world. Let us inspire, recognize, and help each other in our collective quest to make life better on our planet.”You can also follow @fragileoasis on Twitter.
- What does a global moment look like? Read here and submit images from every part of the world for Environment in a Day. The Space Apps Challenge is on every continent this week - wouldn’t it be great if we could submit images from every continent as well?
- Six Words for the Planet. What are yours?
- Get a new perspective on our home planet here with time lapse videos from our crew onboard the International Space Station. Here are the top 10 most requested images of Earth taken by astronauts. (Thanks to Expedition 28 crewmember Ron Garan for taking the photo of the Horn of Africa featured in the banner above.)
- Learn, teach, and share. More Earth Day information from the EPA here, or follow @greenversations on Twitter.