NASA's ISS SERVIR Features Celestron

Iserv OneAs part of it’s SERVIR project, NASA and its partners have created a camera system called ISERV to observe our planet from the International Space Station. Also known as the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System, the program provides satellite data and tools to environmental decision makers in developing countries. ISERV, short for ISS SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System, is the program's first exclusive space asset. ISERV has been operating since 2013, and in that time has taken hundreds of pictures of earth that have been used to assist in disaster response, environmental management, and humanitarian relief efforts.

SERVIR, in Spanish, means “to serve.” This project is a partnership between NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In coupling visual technology with Celestron astronomy equipment, this endeavor is surely one that will continue to serve the world for time to come.

"Let’s assume an earthen dam gives way in Bhutan," says Burgess Howell, a science lead for SERVIR. "We could show disaster officials where the bridge is out, for example, or the hospital is gone, the road washed out, or the power substation inundated. We could also estimate the number and location of structures destroyed and the amount of agricultural land affected. All of this information is critical to focus and speed rescue efforts."

ISERV's camera views the surface of the Earth through its 20-inch Earth-facing window. Utilizing special software, the camera detects the exact location of the space station and determines the next best time to view a particular location. If the view is clear, the SERVIR team sends instructions to the camera to capture its view.

Check out some of the images captured by ISERV and a video of some of the highlights mission highlights by following the links below.

Photo Gallery:

Highlight Reel: