June 2023 – STELLA was used as part of a larger Earth Science lesson with the astronaut candidates (ASCAN) in the summer of 2023.. The candidates. went outside and took spectral measurements of a variety of subjects including the side of a building painted with many different colors. They then came back inside and analyzed the data a team collected using the STELLA-Dataviewer.
After using STELLA with the astronaut candidates Allison Leidner, Program Manager for Climate & Resilience Applications at NASA Headquarters had this to say, “Just looking at the data helped things sink in.
“It’s a very nice engagement tool – more than just images, it gets into the quantitative aspect of satellite data. It provides insight into the scientific process – how to think analytically. It also provides teachable moments about uncertainty in measurements – an appreciation of calibration and validation of NASA data.
“The ability to hold the instrument in your hand and make those measurements yourselves makes STELLA valuable. It gives you a rough sense of what satellite data look like and how these data help us understand our Earth.”