An innovative approach that enables greatly increased return from earth and planetary science remote sensing missions is described. Our concept, called Multiple Instrument Distributed Aperture Sensor (MIDAS), provides a large-aperture, wide-field, diffraction-limited telescope at a fraction of the cost, mass and volume of conventional space telescopes, by integrating advanced optical interferometry technologies. All optical assemblies are integrated into MIDAS as the primary remote sensing science payload, thereby reducing the cost, resources, complexity, integration and risks of a set of back-end science instruments (SI's) tailored to a specific mission, such as advanced SI's now in development for earth and planetary remote sensing missions. MIDAS interfaces to multiple SI's for redundancy and to enable synchronized concurrent science investigations, such as with multiple highly sensitive spectrometers. Passive imaging modes with MIDAS enable remote sensing at diffraction-limited resolution sequentially by each science instrument, as well as in somewhat lower resolution by multiple science instruments acting concurrently on the image, such as in different wavebands. Our MIDAS concept inherently provides nanometer-resolution hyperspectral passive imaging without the need for any moving parts in the science instruments. In its active remote sensing modes using an integrated laser source, MIDAS enables LIDAR, vibrometry, illumination, various active laser spectroscopies such as ablative, breakdown or time-resolved spectroscopy. The MIDAS optical design also provides high-resolution imaging for long dwell times at high altitudes, thereby enabling real-time, wide-area remote sensing of dynamic changes in planet surface processes.