NASA helps Haiti disaster relief efforts

Haiti shuttle radar image from 2000

An image of Haiti from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission in 2000 Credit: NASA

NASA is helping provide information to support disaster recovery efforts in Haiti in the wake of Tuesday’s killer earthquake.

According to the space agency, two NASA Earth monitoring satellites — the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or ASTER, and NASA’s Earth Observing-1 ,or EO-1 — are beaming down images of areas hardest hit by the quake. Before-and-after pictures will be used to help damage assessment and recovery efforts.

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United States military dispatches aircraft carrier, other assets to help in Haiti

The U.S. military is urgently dispatching a Navy aircraft carrier and large-deck amphibious ship, as well as military transport aircraft and assessment teams, to Haiti to assist with the earthquake relief effort, a senior U.S. military official said Wednesday.

“We are massing our forces to provide as much support as we can as quickly as we can,” said Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, head of the U.S. Southern Command. “We are corralling all the resources of the Department of Defense to support this effort.”

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates later told Fraser that the disaster relief effort is a “very high priority” and that he should ask the Defense Department for “anything and everything” he needs, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

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