Washington: When natural disasters hit Earth, it is the International Space Station that we call for help.
Flying 400 km above the planet and circling it every 90 minutes, the orbiting outpost provides a unique vantage point from which images of Earth can play an important role in helping emergency responders know what areas are most in need during hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires and other natural disasters.
The International Space Station (ISS) is an extraordinary global research facility on which the ISS Partnership is carrying out research at an unprecedented rate.
Many of the activities on this unique platform yield valuable benefits to society.
Although each Space Station Partner has distinct agency goals for Station research, each Partner shares a unified goal to extend the resulting knowledge for the betterment of humanity.
Earth observation is one of the primary areas of focus for ISS research. A unique complement of automated and crew-operated Earth observation assets are onboard the ISS.
In addition, the orbit of the ISS provides a distinct perspective over Earth targets that augments polar-orbiting remote sensing spacecraft.
As a result, the ISS can provide an immediate benefit to regions that have experienced natural disasters, such as floods, wildfires, large storm systems, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
The data provided from the ISS is a complement to the data provided by Earth observation satellites through the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters", of which several of the ISS Partners are members.