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NASA Cares About the Water Here On Earth, Too, Okay?

NASA has been helping California manage drought for years. So. There.


I’ve heard more than a few jokes from comedians this week about how it’s too bad NASA can’t ship the water on Mars to California. Jokes like those made The Late Show and The Nightly Show this week, just to name a couple. The Nightly Show even hosted Bill Nye on a panel at which he ended up with the unpopular position of defending NASA’s recent efforts, while the rest of the panel decried NASA as out-of-touch with Earthly troubles.

Cease your jokes, comedians, because NASA is totally helping California out with that whole drought thing. To be clear, NASA has been helping California since 2013 by providing data about Sierra Nevada snow, from whence their drinking water hails. An airplane called the Airborne Snow Observatory records data about sunlight and snow levels, which allows researchers to extrapolate how much water California should expect to receive year to year. Although that doesn’t necessarily stop the drought, it at least gives Californians an idea of how much water to expect, whether it’ll be a “wet year” or a “dry year,” and how to adjust accordingly.

This drought data has been so helpful to California that NASA plans to expand the project to provide snow data to Colorado as well. So, don’t let anybody tell you that NASA doesn’t care about the water here on Earth. They’re already on it.

(via Phys.Org, image via Uproxx)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (