The concept of the imaging spectrometer is becoming established as a major new thrust in remote sensing of the Earth. For several years, JPL has operated the Airborne Imaging Spectrometer on a NASA C-130; this instrument has demonstrated the direct identification of surface materials using imaging spectrometry. An advanced aircraft instrument, the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), began operation on a NASA U-2 in 1987. The Shuttle Imaging Spectrometer Experiment (SISEX) was conceived as the next step in the sequence, and would provide a relatively inexpensive demonstration of the concept in Earth orbit. This paper will describe the design and development status of SISEX, and the status of the enabling technology.