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ESRI, SAS aid shuttle recovery effort

Software developed by ESRI, the GIS provider and SAS, the provider in business intelligence, helped guide the search for debris from the space shuttle Columbia after it broke apart February 1 over the western United States. The software—ArcGIS, SAS Bridge for ESRI, and SAS Enterprise Guide—helped the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) define and map the shuttle debris path that emergency management teams searched after the disaster. The combination of SAS and ESRI software enabled the team to quickly predict key debris lines for the shuttle’s materials, as well as the areas surrounding the predicted path, providing accurate and reliable results for the search crews. These results were projected onto the surface of the earth and used in the $300 million search effort led by NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Combining ArcGIS software’s data visualization techniques with SAS enabled fast, efficient analysis and aided in the entire GIS project. Integration of the SAS and ESRI platforms provided with significant advancement in the statistical analysis of spatial data.