Simply stated, the mission of the Earthrise Institute is to use astronomy, space, and other related endeavors as a tool for breaking down international and intercultural barriers and for bringing humanity together.

The Earthrise Institute takes its name from the images of Earth taken from lunar orbit by the Apollo astronauts. These images, which have captivated people from around the planet, show our Earth as one small, beautiful jewel in space, completely absent of any arbitrary political divisions or boundaries. They have provided new inspiration to us to protect what is right now the only home we have, and they encourage us to treat the other human beings who live on this planet as fellow residents and citizens of that home. They show, moreover, that we are all in this together, and that anything we do involves all of us.

In that spirit, the Earthrise Institute seeks to preserve and enhance the ideals contained within the Earthrise images via the following activities:

  • Develop a worldwide globally-interconnected network of astronomical facilities, each of which will contain several telescopes that are suitable for research and educational purposes. We ultimately plan to have these telescopes accessible for usage both remotely and "on site." By forming an interactive network with these facilities we expect to create an environment that will encourage Earthrise participants from various nations and cultures to collaborate with each other in various research and educational projects.
For the first phase of this project we are developing our initial dark-sky facility, at a site in southern New Mexico that is immediately adjacent to the site from which Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered.
  • Maintain active research projects which further our knowledge of the universe around us. Our goal is to create and maintain a "learning-by-doing" environment wherein Earthrise students are active participants in the research projects and are appropriately credited for the work they perform.      
  • Design and develop a series of "Earthrise Centers" at appropriate locations around the world, with the goal of allowing a larger audience to share in the Earthrise experience. These centers will permit visitors to utilize the telescopes within our network, both remotely and, where appropriate, on-site.    
  • Organize participatory endeavors for special occasions, for example, trips for events like total solar eclipses. We will also organize seminars and other venues for Earthrise participants to share their activities and results.
  • Develop a mass-market program that will share the Earthrise concept with a larger audience. This will include such items as books, curriculum materials, an interactive web presence, and (eventually) a television or other medium production. One such program we hope to get underway within the relatively near future is Earthrise Radio, with which we hope to share the Earthrise concept with a global audience.
One additional way we seek to reach a larger audience is through the formation of "Earthrise clubs" and groups at colleges and high schools around the planet. This will help to install the lessons of the Earthrise concept within the younger generation that will someday inherit this planet from us.
  • Create and license a wide variety of Earthrise products.
Earthrise is a long journey, and we are now taking the early steps towards making it a reality. We invite you to join with us on this journey as we seek to share the lessons of the Earthrise concept with the population of Earth.


History of Earthrise (and its predecessor, the Southwest Institute for Space Research)

New Mexico Senate Joint Memorial 72 (2003), endorsing Earthrise

Science diplomacy expeditions:

astronomical           non-astronomical
"A Challenge for Humanity" (essay written and posted September 11, 2002)
Return to current mission statement