Earth from Space: Houston, Texas

Hello and welcome back to Earth from Space. Today, the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over Houston, Texas. The two identical Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites carry radar instruments to image Earth’s surface. The colours of this week’s image come from the combination of two polarisations from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar mission, which have been converted into a single RGB image. Interpreting polarisation can help scientists
analyse Earth’s surface. In this image, parts of Houston appear in shades of white which contrasts with the yellow tones of the
surrounding land and the dark blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. With a population of over two million and covering an area of over 1600 sq km, Houston is the state’s most populous city and the fourth largest city in the US. Buffalo Bayou can be seen cutting through Houston, before joining Galveston Bay visible at the bottom of the image. Galveston Bay is around 55 km long and around
30 km wide, making it the largest estuary in Texas. The shallow bay has an average depth of around 2 m, which is unusually shallow for its size. The Port of Houston is one of the world’s
largest ports, and many ships can be seen as multi coloured dots in the bottom-right of the image. Houston is home to the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson
Space Center. The centre acts as NASA’s main centre for
astronaut training as well as the International Space Station
mission operations. It was identified as mission control or simply ‘Houston’ during the Apollo, Gemini and Space Shuttle flights. The Johnson Space Center is where many ESA
astronauts are sent as part of their training and preparation for future space missions. This is where Luca Parmitano, who recently returned to Earth, trained for his Beyond mission to the International Space Station. And that brings us to the end of this episode. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the European Space Agency channel. I’m Romina Persi from ESA Web TV Studios. Thank you for watching!

Stephen Childs


  1. "This is Houston"!
    History of space! "Small steps" led to "giant leaps"
    Thanks, Copernicus and ESA ! ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿš€

  2. Tudo em tons de castanho e azul …pareceu-me ver umas estrelas cintilantes!! Um importante polo de ciรชncia…
    Tambรฉm me faz lembrar cinema na lei do Faroeste!! Foi interessante …

  3. I clearly remember when I was a 10yrs old boy starring at the black and white TV in my parents living room and seeing all those engineers in the mission control room in Houston, while Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were going to the moon. Due to the time zone in my country I had to go bed before Neil Armstrong did his famous small step on the moon. Fortunately my parents allowed to watch the replay in next the morning. This was so exciting for me that it had become one of my favorite childhood memories.

  4. I think its insane that it was a gap of 8 years from the first man in space (yuri gagarin) to touching down on the lunar surface.
    Thats half of my life.
    And soon hopefully we can accomplish the goal of humans landing on mars ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Houston! We are ready to go.
    This city is known as, Space city because for NASA's Johnson Space Center and also there is a pool made by NASA world's largest and most deepest pool lying near to zero gravity know as NASA's Neutral Buoyancy lab, in that pool there NASA ESA replicates ISS's model to train astronauts how to deal with problems on space or as for real life situation, the model is looks nearly real as of ISS.
    Thanks you ESA.

  6. This is such an interesting series! ๐Ÿ‘ This time the pictures are not exactly the definition of "beautiful" but all the more stunning, especially in combination with all the background information. Keep up the good work!

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