To celebrate Earth Day 2021 (Thursday, April 22), NASA is hosting a virtual Earth Day event – from Wednesday, April 21, through Saturday, April 24 – focused on how to live more sustainably on our home planet, and exploring the connections between Earth’s atmosphere, water cycle, forests, fields, cities, ice caps, and climate. The program – called #ConnectedByEarth – will feature live presentations by NASA scientists, conversations with astronauts and scientists working in space, videos, interactive science content, a kid-friendly fun zone, a scavenger hunt, hundreds of downloadable resources, and more. Some content will also be available in Spanish.
Registration is free and open to the public. Register to participate here.
Also, on Earth Day – and throughout the week – celebrate with people across the planet by posting an image on social media of the bit of Earth that connects you to our planet – get yourselves in there, too, if you want to – and tag it with #ConnectedByEarth. NASA said:
On Earth Day, via #ConnectedByEarth, the collective images of so many different parts of our planet and the humans (and other creatures) who share it will create a stunning picture of the many connected pieces of our world.
Tuesday, April 20
3 p.m. – Watch on Instagram Live @NASAEarth to discuss how to become a climate scientist.
Wednesday, April 21
10:30 a.m. – Live webinar on the event platform with experts about the water cycle, glaciers and impacts of climate change
Thursday, April 22, Earth Day
11 a.m. – Live conversation with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes and five people living and working in space: NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Mark Vande Hei; and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Mendes will ask the astronauts about their experience, as well as facilitate questions submitted in advance by his followers, and people around the world, related to Earth Day, climate change and how the astronauts study Earth from space. The event will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
1 p.m. – Live webinar on the event platform with experts about climate change, life in space, plants in space and space crop production, and Earth’s role in our solar system
3 p.m. – NASA Science Live episode about climate change, global temperatures and sea level rise
NASA explained how they are also exploring the connections between life on Earth and the agency’s mission to return astronauts to the moon and eventually send humans to Mars. NASA’s Vegetable Production System, known as Veggie, experiments with ways to grow plants in space to give astronauts vital nutrition from freshly grown fruits and vegetables. NASA said:
This Earth Day, we encourage you to start your own garden – be it in a plot of Earth or a pot full of earth – using seeds similar to those grown on the International Space Station. This can include romaine lettuce, radishes, mustard, and more. Share photos on social media as your garden comes to life through the spring and summer with #GrowForLaunch.
If you’re interested in more structured growing activities, visit Growing Beyond Earth, a classroom-based citizen science project sponsored by Fairchild Gardens of Coral Gables, Florida, in partnership with NASA. More than 250 middle and high school classes around the United States are participating in these plant experiments based on the International Space Station Veggie program.
Bottom line: For Earth Day 2021 (April 22), NASA highlights science and technology that is helping us all live more sustainably on our home planet and adapt to natural and human-caused changes.