No matter if you enjoy taking or just watching images of space, NASA has a treat for you. They have made their entire collection of images, sounds, and video available and publicly searchable online. It’s 140,000 photos and other resources available for you to see, or even download and use it any way you like.
What do the names Walter Schirra, Walter Cunningham or Donn Eisele mean to you? Do you see them only as the astronauts from the Apollo 7 mission, or there’s something else? Other than being heroes and the makers of history – they also made great photos, some of which became iconic.
Dutch designer Simon Phillipson issued a book Apollo VII – XVII to pay a tribute to these astronauts and the photos they took. It features 225 photos from the space missions, all taken by astronauts. And in this article, we’ll present you with some of them.
The GEOS-16 satellite lifted off in November last year. The satellite contains an Advanced Baseline Imager, which boasts images of earth at four times the resolution of any other satellite. Scientists, meteorologists and regular weather & science enthusiasts around the world have been itching to see those first images. Well, now they’re in and they look amazing.
Below is a “full-disk” image of the earth. It comes in at a rather sizeable 117.4 megapixels, and the satellite can produce one of these every 15 minutes.
Sometimes real stories go beyond anything we can imagine. And this one from Damn Interesting podcast certainly exceeds any fictionous photography tale one can conceive. It involves espionage, camera coffins, secret film formulas and faxing a photo of the moon.
During the cold war the US initiated a Project Genetrix a secret project executed to gather intel from the closed border USSR. Project Genetrix launched huge 200-foot-tall, 100-foot-wide helium balloons into the air around strategic locations in Europe where the wind was supposed to carry them over the USSR where they will take photos and eventually exit the USSR air space to be collected by a friendly plane, mid air and have the film sent to the US for the intelligence force to decipher. This may sound like a kids play nowadays (and it is), but back in ’56 we did not have no gopros.
NASA just released the images that were taken from the Apollo mission. Project Apollo Archive took on the tedious job of putting the magazines into a flickr account! There are thousands of images to look through and each one is interesting.
The author of the flickr account stated that the best way to view is in the “Album” view. I have looked through some of the galleries and picked out a few favorites! Check these out after the jump! (no pun intended)
If you see any visualization of the cosmos nowadays it is probably one of two: either computer generated effect or a stack of images from NASA public archive.
I absolutely love the idea of creating effect in camera, and especially when the process is simple and innovative and the results are worth the effort. Shanks FX used a mix of milk, food coloring and soap over a piece of glass. They then mounted a Canon 5DS and used the high speed burst mode to capture 2-4 photos per second, and combine them into a time-lapse. Alas it was too large of a file:
You know how sometimes you take such an amazing photo that you have to share immediately, just to later realize that you have an ever more awesome version of it?
That’s pretty much the case here with NASA’s insane surface photo of Pluto, taken by the interplanetary space probe New Horizons.
The result is, quite literally, out of this world.
We’ve seen a lot from NASA over the years, from original space exploration photos to intriguing experiments to some of the most incredible time-lapse footage you will ever watch. Heck, we’ve even witnessed a moon landing Hasselblad go for three quarters of a million dollars! But, we’re talking mere rocket scientists here, not esteemed photographers with an art school education. So how does one go about training an under-qualified PhD to snap photos while on a road trip around the globe at 17,500 miles an hour?
Intent on proving that anyone can learn to take a picture, Hasselblad, presumably at the behest of the United States government, developed a comprehensive training manual for astronauts. From specific instructions on operating the Hasselblad cameras to basic photography principles, astronauts were put through a crash course before going into space. Here’s a look at the manual…
If you are a space fan, this is your day. NASA just released the first surface image of Pluto.
The photo is the closest photo of Pluto ever taken at about 7,800 miles. This is quite amazing, especially compared to the roughly 3 billion (3,000,000,000) miles New Horizons had to travel to get there.
Another interesting fact is that we did not see the photo as soon as it was taken. It took the transmission about 4.5 hours to get to earth.
This could also be the most expensive photo taken at roughly $700 million to build, equip and fly the probe.
For a lot of us, travelling to space and taking photographs sounds like a dream job. For Don Pettit, it’s just another day at the office. In fact, part of his official NASA training included working with a number of professional photographers and trainers. Of course, being an astronaut photographer isn’t just taking beautiful photos from outer space. Pettit said in an interview with SmugMug, there’s actually a lot of engineering photography to be done, which Pettit says is actually quite uninteresting to the public.
“We have to take macro images of pins in an electrical connector or a bit of grunge in a hydraulic quick-disconnect fitting or little patterns that might develop on the surface of one of the windows. These things need to be documented so the images can be downlinked for engineers on the ground to assess what’s happening to the systems on space station. We get training specifically on doing these engineering images, which, for the most part, are not really interesting to the public.
Photography on the space station is more than just taking a bunch of pretty pictures. We take pictures of Earth and the surroundings of earth, and these pictures represent a scientific data set recorded now for over 14 years. About 1.2 million pictures were taken as of July 2012.”