Texas company launches space probe to monitor the sea from the sky

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JAMSS America Inc. launched its project, named Global AIS on Space Station, or GLASS, via a SpaceX Dragon rocket to monitor maritime activities. The project will dock on the International Space Station and last about an hour. Photo: NASA

via Jack Witthaus, Houston Business Journal

A Houston-based aerospace engineering company launched a device to the International Space Station this week with the hope of tracking maritime data on Earth.

The company, JAMSS America Inc., launched its project, named Global AIS on Space Station, or GLASS, via a SpaceX Dragon rocket, according to a release. The project will last about a year.

The information GLASS will glean is expected to be used for numerous purposes. Beamed-back data on global ship traffic will provide information for “commercial, safety and security, environmental and educational purposes,” according to a release. The information will be used to protect the maritime environment, catch illegal fishing practices and provide national security intelligence, among other uses.

Project collaborators include the Greater Houston Port Bureau, the University of Hawaii, Friendswood-based Mare Liberum and Virginia-based Flexitech, per the release. GLASS is partially funded by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, a not-for-profit organization that assists with projects involving the ISS.

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