Space News: Private sector seeks bigger role in NASA Earth science programs

Published on: May 24, 2021

Companies and organizations used a House hearing May 18 to advocate for a larger role in NASA’s Earth science programs, arguing their capabilities can complement NASA spacecraft. The hearing by the House space subcommittee on NASA’s Earth science programs devoted much of its attention to how commercial Earth imaging spacecraft could supplement NASA missions to study climate change, a growing priority for both the agency and the Biden administration. An example of a novel and innovative approach highlighted at the hearing is Carbon Mapper, a public-private partnership that includes Planet, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the state of California. The project, announced April 15, will place a series of satellites in orbit to track emissions of greenhouse gases.