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Saving the planet from space: how satellite observation can help tackle climate change
A defining moment in space exploration is the first image of Earthrise – watching the Earth come over the horizon – taken by an astronaut on Apollo 8 as it ventured on its historic trip to circle the moon.
Since that photo in December 1968, Earth observation has rapidly progressed to the point where satellites orbiting the Earth can monitor forests, methane emissions, glaciers, sea levels and many other parts of the climate.
The last decade in particular saw rapid progress, with a massive boost in navigation, telecommunication and, crucially, observation technology. The data provided allows scientists, NGOs and private companies to build an idea of the current state of the Earth and help decision-makers guide climate policy.