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About Sally Ride EarthKAM

Sally Ride EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) is a NASA educational outreach program enabling students, teachers, and the public to learn about Earth from the unique perspective of space. During Sally Ride EarthKAM missions (periods when the Sally Ride EarthKAM camera is operational), middle school students around the world request images of specific locations on Earth. The entire collection of Sally Ride EarthKAM images is available in a searchable Sally Ride EarthKAM image archive. This image collection and accompanying learning guides and activities are extraordinary resources to engage students in Earth and space science, geography, social studies, mathematics, communications, and art.

The project was initiated by Dr. Sally Ride (America’s first woman in space) in 1995 and called KidSat. The KidSat camera flew on three space shuttle flights (STS 76, 81, and 86) to test its feasibility. In 1998, the program was deemed successful and renamed EarthKAM. In 2013, NASA renamed the program Sally Ride EarthKAM after the late astronaut, who died in July 2012. The EarthKAM camera flew on two additional space shuttle flights (STS 89 and 99) before moving over to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2001 on Expedition 1. The Sally Ride EarthKAM camera has since been a permanent payload on board the International Space Station and supports approximately four missions annually.

Video - Interview with Brion Au, Sally Ride EarthKAM payload developer

Video - Interview with Sally Ride EarthKAM participants

Video - Space Station Live: Sally Ride EarthKAM Gives Students Window on World

Video - Space Station Live: Using Sally Ride EarthKAM During Earth Week

Video - Celebrating Sally

Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission Statistics

Curious to know how many images were captured or how many schools participated in the most recent Sally Ride EarthKAM mission?

Find statistics on the Mission Information page.

The Sally Ride EarthKAM Team

Learn about the people behind the project and view a list of participating schools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? Visit our Help page.

International Space Station

Learn about the Future of the International Space Station.

Also, visit NASA's website.

The ISS Camera System

Learn about Sally Ride EarthKAM's camera system on board the International Space Station.

Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission Operations Center

Learn about The Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission Operations Center (MOC) and the UCSD undergraduate students and Sally Ride EarthKAM advisors who support and maintain the MOC year round.