The Atlantis space shuttle mission last September was mired in controversy over continued U.S. involvement with Mir. But students at the University of California at San Diego and at 52 U.S. middle schools were too busy for politics. They focused instead on snapping satellite images of rainforest fires in Indonesia, the coastline of Australia, and other features on Earth through a mounted Kodak camera aimed through a shuttle window. The students are participants in NASA's KidSat pilot education program that uses space to teach subjects ranging from mathematics and geography to literature and history. KidSat also brings space exploration to an increasing number of students and makes them feel integral to the mission.