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The Earth-viewing photographic data from your mission will be an important addition to the NASA Space Shuttle Earth Observations Database. This database is rapidly becoming a valuable record of Earth's most recent environmental history, and thus of the human impact on Earth processes. This data source has the longest length-of-record of any space-derived global change database, but has not been fully exploited. With the inception of NASA's "Mission to Planet Earth" program there is a need to integrate these important data into studies of global change.

Global land processes such as land use, deforestation, soil and land degradation, erosion, desertification, soil salinization, long-range dust transport, hydrologic changes, and steam and reservoir sedimentation have been extensively documented during the Space Shuttle missions flown during the past years. Earlier NASA manned space flights from 1961 provide a unique perspective on our planetary habitat and add critically important early data points to our models of land use dynamics and their ecological implications.

This document was prepared by Dr. Cynthia Evans (Lockheed Martin Engineering & Sciences), and Ms. Kim Hairrel-Coo (Lockheed Martin Engineering & Sciences). Work on this manual was performed under Lockheed Martin Engineering & Science's NASA contract, NAS 9-19100, Task Order 6HECSN5CE.

Sources for some materials used in this document have been omitted in the interest of brevity. Specific sources may be obtained from the authors. This document is intended for internal NASA use only.
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