August 21, 2009: NASA scientists Maury Estes and Mohammad Al-Hamdan have been seafaring in the Gulf of Mexico, and one of them grew a bit green around the gills. It's not surprising that a space agency scientist might have trouble getting his sea legs, but what was he doing out there in the surf to begin with?
"We were gathering water samples," explains Estes.
That doesn't sound much like rocket science, but consider the following:At this moment, a fleet of NASA Earth-observing satellites is silently passing overhead, gathering vital information about our planet. Estes and Al-Hamdan are combining that heavenly data with local water samples to help the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, or NEP, check the health of the coast.