2, astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station
took more than 30,000 images of the Earth. The first peer-reviewed
research from the International Space Station -- "Space Station
Allows Remote Sensing of Earth to within Six Meters" -- was published
in Eos, American Geophysical Union, 2002.
For the first
time, high-resolution images were obtained by astronauts, with
station crews routinely acquiring images of Earth with resolutions
of 6 meters (19.7 feet). The crews also collected images in the
range of 1- to 10-meter (3.3- to 33-foot) resolution, which is
most in demand by the remote sensing community.
circles the Earth 16 times a day, with an orbital track that covers
more than 75 percent of the planet's surface and 95 percent of
its population. The unparallelled view of the constantly changing
Earth gave Expedition crewmembers opportunities to view and record
many events during Year 2.
16, 2002 - Congo
and smoke plumes result from biomass burning in the savannas of
southern Democratic Republic of Congo. Astronauts aboard the International
Space Station observed the seasonal increase in savanna burning,
which traditionally peaks in June in southern Democratic Republic
of Congo. These fires, likely the result of human activities,
are thought to contribute significant emissions to the atmosphere.
The darker area in the foreground is a more heavily wooded hillside.
Most burning occurs in the grassier savannas, which appear red-brown.
18, 2002 - Danube
Flooding near Vác, Hungary
some of the devastating European flooding were captured over a
period of several days by Expedition Five crewmembers onboard
the International Space Station. The photographs show flooding
around the Danube Bend area just north of Budapest, Hungary, near
the city of Vác.
peaked in Budapest on Aug. 19, 2002, at about 8.5 meters (28 feet),
exceeding the previous 1965 flood record. The images show the
waters inundating farmland in the flood plain and then receding.
20, 2002 - Kolka
of the International Space Station observed and documented the
result of the catastrophic glacier collapse and landslide that
occurred on the northern slope of Mount Kazbek, which is one of
the highest mountains in the Caucasus range. The crew captured
an image of the intact glacier on Aug. 13, 2002, just weeks before
the collapse. On Sept. 20, 2002, the collapse of a hanging glacier
from the slope of Mount Dzhimarai-Khokh onto the Kolka Glacier
triggered an avalanche of ice and debris that went over the Maili
glacier terminus then slid more than 24 kilometers (15 miles).
Post-collapse photos captured from onboard the station gave researchers
insight into the event.
2, 2002 - Hurricane
On Oct. 2,
2002, NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, powered
down and people along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana prepared
for landfall of Hurricane Lili. The storm held special significance
for the International Space Station crew orbiting 389 kilometers
(210 nautical miles) above -- it delayed that day's launch of
the space shuttle that was scheduled to bring them visitors, supplies
and hardware. However, the crew gained perspective on Lili by
tracking and photographing the hurricane near its peak. In successive
late afternoon orbits, the astronauts viewed the storm in the
northern Gulf of Mexico and acquired a series dramatic digital
photos of Lili's compact storm system, along with details of the
structure of its estimated 28-kilometer-wide (15-nautical-mile-wide)
30, 2002 - Mount
On Oct. 30,
2002, the International Space Station's Expedition Five crew was
able to observe Mount Etna's spectacular eruption and photograph
the details of the eruption plume and smoke from fires triggered
by the lava as it flowed down the 3,350-meter (11,000-foot) mountain.
This was one of Etna's most vigorous eruptions in years. The eruption
was triggered by a series of earthquakes on Oct. 27. Although
schools were closed and air traffic was diverted because of the
ash, no towns or villages were threatened by the lava flow.