Over the last 25 years, a tremendous progress has been made in the Earth science space-based remote sensing observations, technologies and algorithms. Such advancements have improved the predictability by providing lead-time and accuracy of forecast in weather, climate, natural hazards, and natural resources. It has further reduced or bounded the overall uncertainties by partially improving our understanding of planet Earth as an integrated system that is governed by non-linear and chaotic behavior. Many countries such US, European Community, Japan, China and others have invested billions of dollars in developing and launching space-based assets in the low earth (LEO) and geostationary (GEO) orbits. However, the wealth of this scientific knowledge that has potential of extracting monumental socio-economic benefits from such large investments have been slow in reaching the public and decision makers. For instance, there are a number of areas such as energy forecasting, aviation safety, agricultural competitiveness, disaster management, homeland security, air quality and public health, which can directly take advantage. Nevertheless, we all live in a global economy that depends on access to the best available Earth Science information for all inhabitants of this planet. This paper surveys and examines a number such applications in terms of their architecture, maturity and economic applicability as they apply to the societal needs. A detailed analysis is also presented of various challenges and issues that pertain to a number of areas such as: (1) difficulties in making a speedy transition of data and information from observations and models to relevant Decision Support Systems (DSS) or tools, (2) data and models inter-operability issues, (3) limitations of spatial, spectral and temporal resolution,(4) communication limitations as dictated by the availability of image processing and data compression techniques. Additionally, the most critical element amongst all is the organizational and management boundaries that must be resolved at local, state, national and international levels to implement and realize free flow of such vital information. This paper also makes attempts to address this topic and discuss possible approaches to deal with this quandary.