Approximate number of satellites analyzed by Explorer Moriba Jah’s Glint Evader technology.
The year the Society’s flag accompanied John Glenn during his successful mission to become the first American to orbit the Earth.
The year the Hubbard Medal — the Society’s highest honor — was awarded to Nainoa Thompson for reviving the ancient practice of wayfinding: ocean navigation using stars as guides.

Exploring what's beyond our world

Our work in Space encompasses projects dedicated to exploring and understanding the universe and supporting National Geographic Explorers who examine and illuminate our world and what lies beyond it. From our solar system to deep space, from the origin of the universe to the evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere, from meteorites to space debris, Explorers are unraveling mysteries, testing new ideas, and sparking curiosity and awe.

Our history in space exploration

The National Geographic Society has documented humanity’s amazing feats in space through compelling stories and photographs, from the U.S. space program and its development in the 1950s to the moon landing to present-day glimpses into distant galaxies from space probes. The Society sponsored some of the earliest aeronautic achievements, including the Explorer II stratosphere balloon flight in 1935 and the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS), an immense photomapping of the entire night sky that was completed in 1958. And, as a message from our earthbound institution, 20 images provided by the Society were sent into deep space on the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. They continue to traverse the galaxy.

In the field

Our Space Explorers

They’re on an unrelenting quest to understand the unknown and are pushing the limits of what is possible.

Drawing on National Geographic’s long history with space exploration, our Explorers are finding fascinating and inventive ways to find answers about our world. They are leveraging satellite imagery to gain new perspectives, developing cutting-edge technologies, and building upon humanity’s long-standing fascination with the stars to learn more about our planet and ourselves.

Read more stories of impact from some of our Space Explorers on

Monica Alcazar-Duarte: Embracing themes related to science and technology and their influence over society and the natural world

Zara Randriamanakoto: Using space-based and ground-based South African telescopes to help image collisional ring galaxies

H. Cynthia Chiang: Focusing on instrumentation development and data analysis for observational cosmology

Moriba Jah: Chief scientist and a co-founder of Privateer Space, a data and intelligence platform empowering the future of space sustainability

Ilias Psyroukis: Young Explorer, pioneer and educator engaging youth with new space-related technologies

Join US

Help us promote innovation

Bring Space into the classroom

Spark new curiosities and download resources we've made available for educators and learners in our Resource Library. We've provided lessons, articles, maps, videos and so much more to inspire our mission to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world — and beyond.

Support our work

As a global community, we have a duty to make our world a better place. By empowering innovative thinkers and creators, we can move our human journey forward and inspire generations to come. How will you contribute to the evolution of our world?

Photo Credits from top of page: NASA, Terry Virts, Michael C. Breakley, Zara Randriamanakoto, H. Cynthia Chiang, Mark Thiessen, Ilias Psyroukis, Terry Virts, Munazza Alam

Get updates about our critical work to explore and protect our planet.

The National Geographic Society is proud to invest in a global community of intrepid Explorers working to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Make a tax-deductible gift to support the Society today, and your support will help fund the next generation of changemakers.