NASA makes their entire media library publicly accessible and copyright free

Apr 20, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

NASA makes their entire media library publicly accessible and copyright free

Apr 20, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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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.

You can type in the term you want to search for and browse through the database of stunning images of outer space. Additionally, there are also images of astronauts, rocket launches, events at NASA and other interesting stuff. What’s also interesting is that almost every image comes with the EXIF data, which could be useful for astrophotography enthusiasts.

When you browse through the gallery, you can choose to see images, videos or audio. Another cool feature I noticed is that you can narrow down the results by the year. Of course, I used some of my time today to browse through the gallery, and here are some of the space photos you can find:

What I love about NASA is that they make interesting content for average Internet users. They make us feel closer and more familiar with their work and with the secrets of the outer space. For instance, they recently launched a GIPHY account full of awesome animated gifs. It’s also great that photography is an important part of their missions, and so it was even before “pics or it didn’t happen” became the rule. The vast media library they have now published is available to everyone, free of charge and free of copyright. Therefore, you can take a peek at the fascinating mysteries of space, check out what it’s like inside NASA’s premises, or download the images to make something awesome from them. Either way, you’ll enjoy it.

[NASA Image and Video Gallery via SLR Lounge; Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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130 responses to “NASA makes their entire media library publicly accessible and copyright free”

  1. Brian Menin Avatar
    Brian Menin

    It should be free. We paid for it.

    1. Tanya Harrison Avatar
      Tanya Harrison

      It was already free—all NASA stuff like this has always been in the public domain. The only thing “new” here is the single website and search function to go through them all, making it easier to track things down than it was before.

  2. Tom Roche Avatar
    Tom Roche

    I started a little photography project on instagram, after reading this article –

    1. DERP Avatar

      that’s pretty whack for two years ago

  3. Jamie Riddell Avatar
    Jamie Riddell

    Wonderful Stuff!

  4. rhdavid Avatar

    Well done, dear Sirs! I do appreciate! The world will become more rich on this way.

  5. Wes YoungSanta Barnes Avatar
    Wes YoungSanta Barnes

    Lots of great CGI work on here! I’ve seen street kids do this shit with spray paint. NASA is a bigger lie than 9/11.

    1. sumdumgoi ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵖʳᵉᵐᶦᵘᵐ Avatar
      sumdumgoi ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵖʳᵉᵐᶦᵘᵐ

      Nice attempt at trolling, but honestly I don’t think anyone is going to believe somebody can be as stupid as what your post makes you sound like.

      1. Ivor Wilson Avatar
        Ivor Wilson

        Have you seen Youtube recently? The “space is fake!” / “Earth is flat!” / “NASA is Satan!” brigade are out in force.

        1. Dark Zone Avatar
          Dark Zone

          I know, and they’re hilarious! The fact that they’re dead serious makes it even more hysterical.

    2. surfyogi Avatar

      Well documented, all the UFOs get airbrushed out.
      Good CGI, exactly…

      1. Jimpa Avatar

        It is hard to paint in all those grains to make the pictures grainy.

      2. Nightowl223 Avatar

        I’m sorry about your head. Perhaps a trip to the proctologist might help?

  6. Barton Paul Levenson Avatar
    Barton Paul Levenson

    Makes it available WHERE? You didn’t include a link to the pictures!

    1. Nancy Emmons Avatar
      Nancy Emmons

      Click on the blue words ‘entire collection’ in the paragraph below the 4 photos on which the NASA logo appears.

      1. Barton Paul Levenson Avatar
        Barton Paul Levenson


    2. Nightowl223 Avatar

      Um… did you REALLY have to ask this? LOL!

  7. rmcnees Avatar

    The material has always been free, but this new portal is a great way to access it. Please remember, though, that you should still credit the sources when you use their media. For instance, that first image (“Milky Way Center Aglow…”) should have a “Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech” or “Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech” somewhere. Those scientists put in a lot of hard work to produce these images, and crediting them is an important way of acknowledging that.

    1. Charlie Avatar

      Right! Thank you!

      1. Finley Avatar

        I am lost in the conversation

        1. bardejov Avatar


    2. Victoria J. Polsoni Avatar
      Victoria J. Polsoni

      Wouldn’t want people thinking the average Facebook user can go to space and snap some casual pics of alien matter in the solar system!

      1. Nyle Smith Avatar
        Nyle Smith

        Crediting someone on their contributions is for the purpose of referencing a specific individual’s work. You can then follow their studies, build on their work, read their publications, attend the same school, or even just look at some more cool photos.

        No one was scared that other people would think it was a facebooker with a smartphone. We… we got that. ;D

        1. Bob Stein Avatar
          Bob Stein

          And yet no specific individuals (humans) were mentioned in @rmcnees example credit. There are more people behind each of these photos than most any ever made. How do we actually respect and honor that?

          1. rmcnees Avatar

            If you go to the website of the agency that produced the image, they’ll usually have guidelines for how to credit their work. In my experience, a little more digging will often turn up the primary scientists and technicians who contributed to an image, and listing them is a nice nod to their hard work.

          2. Randy Avatar

            That’s it! I’m going to do some digging right this mi— Hey look a new Star Wars Trailer!!! What were we doing again? … Something about free stuff and credits?

          3. Joseph Rindone Avatar
            Joseph Rindone

            I worked at NASA’s DSN during some of the most exciting encounters of the Voyager Probes. I am very satisfied with know the work I did along with the guys and gals I worked with. the late 70’s and early 80’s were great. The experiences I had both at Goldstone and JPL were more than most people could ever hope for. As a colleague used to say, “accomplishment is it’s own reward”.

      2. nickanthony82 . Avatar
        nickanthony82 .

        Not to mention you’ll get an “F” on your exam if you do not properly credit your sources.

        Give me a break people. If nasa cared about their photographers getting the credit for these photos when posted everywhere online then they wouldn’t have it open for the public to see and use. Stop being weird.

        1. Katharine Trauger Avatar
          Katharine Trauger

          Life is a bit more than a photo, sometimes. ;)

    3. John Birkenmeier Avatar
      John Birkenmeier

      Yeah, it’s just common courtesy to credit an artist when you share their work. Doesn’t mater if its a space photo or a painting.

    4. felix72 Avatar

      They’d never see anything anyway, they’d be too busy texting.

    5. Marc Mantha Avatar
      Marc Mantha

      I know this message is old, but you would be surprise of what can be done from our home. You can look at my instagram, @mantha.marc, I took all of these pics from my light polluted front yard.

      1. Bethany Williams Avatar
        Bethany Williams


        1. Marc Mantha Avatar
          Marc Mantha


  8. Bob Stein Avatar
    Bob Stein

    Noticing your examples don’t mention any humans. “JPL-Caltech” is not much less blunt than “NASA” itself, which was already implied. A cast of thousands is behind each of these photos, bigger than any movie credits. How do we honor them?

    1. Stephany Leroux Avatar
      Stephany Leroux

      by crediting NASA? and making sure people know these photos are real photos of space and not something someone just… drew?

  9. Erik Maria Van Overloop Avatar
    Erik Maria Van Overloop

    Thank you N.A.S.A. for all the hard and excellent work! Many forget it is powered by “We The People” and paid by tax money, so in a way their content should be free which it now seems to be! So Mr. rmcnees always remember this before telling free people what to do! Thank you.

    1. rmcnees Avatar

      Sure man, whatever. If acknowledging people for doing a bunch of hard work isn’t important to you, feel free to ignore my comment from [checks notes] two years ago.

      1. Maritimer1 Avatar

        It’s always been free since we taxpayers funded it. But yes, you should still give credit to the photographer.

    2. Maritimer1 Avatar

      It’s always been free for that very reason.

      1. Robert Marcos Avatar
        Robert Marcos

        DVIDS is another example of our government sharing media which taxpayers paid for. They also request photo credits to the soldiers who created their photos, and videos.

    3. Stephany Leroux Avatar
      Stephany Leroux

      … ya… cus… you know… you don’t ever have to give credit when someone gives you something for free. Fair use doesn’t require credit… even though it’s free… Oh and credit totally doesn’t help keep programs like this funded and make more people aware of them. No. That would make too much sense.

    4. Danny Allen House Avatar
      Danny Allen House

      Just because the images are ‘free’, doesn’t mean that the individuals who helped create them for your free viewing pleasure shouldn’t be acknowledged… simple, professional common courtesy (a concept that appears to be lost on so many these days) ?

  10. Robert Myers Avatar
    Robert Myers

    Well said rmcnees!

  11. maxi me Avatar
    maxi me

    . .

  12. John Massari Avatar
    John Massari


  13. scott_wood Avatar

    Nasa is a U.S. Government entity. They cant cooyright that material. US tax payers own it

  14. Dave Morrison Avatar
    Dave Morrison

    Good point, but really, where else would the images come from?

  15. EdMallory Avatar

    Their work that we paid for. Lets credit the American people for bringing this to the world. Without us and the blessings of God for our nation this wouldn’t have happened.

  • Frugal Freak Avatar
    Frugal Freak

    free for PERSONAL USE only. They shouldn’t have even bothered.

    1. Kirk Avatar

      I don’t think you actually read the NASA guidelines. These space pictures are truly public domain. Photographs of NASA signs and symbols, employees, including astronauts, are restricted from commercial use by various other laws, including state privacy laws, not copyright. Photographs by commercial photographers under contract to NASA are protected by the copyrights of those commercial photographers (which is why Pete Souza owns the copyright of his White House photographs).

    2. Nightowl223 Avatar

      I’m sorry about your lack of comprehension on the differences between logo copyright, public domain, and commercially taken photographs. Perhaps a visit to your proctologist might help.

  • Larua Avatar

    if you enjoy cgi and childlike artwork and fake shit, this is the place to play lol

    1. DERP Avatar

      ^^^found the retard everyone!

    2. John Kosto Avatar
      John Kosto

      And this is what unintelligent design looks like

      1. Finley Avatar


    3. Matt Kordelski Avatar
      Matt Kordelski

      word, youd think nasa would produce state if the art video…. not!

    4. Nightowl223 Avatar

      I’m so sorry about your head. Perhaps a trip to the proctologist might help.

    5. Ivor Wilson Avatar
      Ivor Wilson

      I’m willing to bet you can’t even spell your own name, Laura.

  • Marcus Valls Avatar
    Marcus Valls


  • Daniel Baker Avatar
    Daniel Baker

    “What is a U.S. government work?”

    A United States government work is prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person’s official duties.

    It is not subject to copyright in the United States and there are no copyright restrictions on reproduction, derivative works, distribution, performance, or display of the work. Anyone may, without restriction under U.S. copyright laws.

  • Judith Flacke Avatar
    Judith Flacke

    So do we still need to credit? Even in part of a composite?

    1. Khürt L. Williams Avatar
      Khürt L. Williams


    2. T'Rina Lockary Avatar
      T’Rina Lockary

      Well good manners and it does allow others to find similar images but it isn’t mandatory

    3. Nightowl223 Avatar

      NEED to? No. SHOULD we? Absolutely. Would you like just anyone to take something YOU worked hard on and show it off as their own?

  • Tanya Harrison Avatar
    Tanya Harrison

    As others have noted, the title of this article is extremely misleading—NASA images have *always* been public domain and freely available. The only thing new at the time of writing was the search interface to be able to better find things.

  • Sarah Jean Beeman-hall Avatar
    Sarah Jean Beeman-hall

    Oh my God I love space shit .

  • Gi Ku Avatar
    Gi Ku

    if its free why we don’t get raw images without cleaned aliens spaceships ?

    1. Ivor Wilson Avatar
      Ivor Wilson

      Must troll harder.

      1. Finley Avatar


  • Corey Kretsinger Avatar
    Corey Kretsinger

    These are not without restrictions. Y’all had better read the usage guidelines, especially if you wish to use the media for commercial purposes.

    1. james Avatar

      From what I gathered they are OK to use commercially unless they are marked copyrighted and of course without any logos including the NASA logo. Is that what other folks understood?

    2. Jeremy Viles Avatar
      Jeremy Viles

      I was wondering just that. People are posting that they are copyright free, do wtih them as you wish. But I will be curious to see if they are truly available for commercial use or not.

  • Bawenang Rukmoko Pardian Putra Avatar
    Bawenang Rukmoko Pardian Putra

    Can I make a commercial product with these images?

    1. Maritimer1 Avatar

      It’s copyright free. If you don’t understand that concept maybe you should educate yourself before making commercial products with other people’s images.

      1. Nightowl223 Avatar

        It really is an honest question. Being hateful really wasn’t necessary.

    2. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
      Jolyon Ralph

      The answer is YES. The images are public domain therefore you can use them commercially if you wish.

      NOTE: This only applies to images created by and owned by NASA. Images they have shared that are from other individuals/organizations may still be subject to copyright.

    3. NiteClerk Avatar

      It is copyright free, so yes. BUT other people can use the same NASA image also. Even if it looks close to what you designed.
      I am not a lawyer.

  • Alvaro Saburido Avatar
    Alvaro Saburido

    Free Wallpapers

  • Laurie Neufeld Avatar
    Laurie Neufeld

    I will happily snag the Eagle Nebula (Pillars of Creation) because that has always been one of my favorite images, especially since it was used as a backdrop in one episode of Babylon 5.

  • james Avatar

    An awesome resource! Thanks!

  • Wizard of FB Avatar
    Wizard of FB

    Aren’t government-produced material supposed to be copyright free in the first place? These were produced using our tax money.

    1. Chris Brantley Avatar
      Chris Brantley

      NASA Images have always been copyright free.

    2. Nightowl223 Avatar

      There are still some caveats about the use of the images. But the point of this article is that there is now a much easier way to search, to narrow and refine your search, and even sort the results by year.

  • Duane Kemp Avatar
    Duane Kemp

    After searching the library, I was surprised to discover that after 50+ years, my search for 360° Spherical HQ imagery for a background for 3D, ultimately convinces me that NASA is on the lower rung of a ladder of images that are better produced by CGI and 3D artists. I can’t understand that after all these decades… there’s NOTHING, despite having the best cameras aboard the best locations that not one person thought ever to take a panoramic image from their location! Dumbfounded. Guess I have to rely on the CGI graphics of Google Earth. Dang it.

    1. Jake Avatar

      Cry me a river. You’re complaining that a government-run science-based venture does not provide you with non-realistic (as in, not shot in reality) CGI images that you want to use for your creative projects? You’re upset that people with computers can create things that don’t exist in the real universe and butt-hurt because you think NASA should be able to match those made-up images by taking pics of the real universe? Unless you meant your comment to come across as sarcastic (which isn’t obvious), you really need to reassess your expectations (or do it better yourself!). NASA took men to the moon with less computing power than your watch, and you want to criticise their (free!) photo library? Faaarkk…can’t wait for your article on how the real world just isn’t high-definition enough for your expectations. “I can see all the details in my photos of the world, but I’m sooo disappointed that when I look at things in real-life with my own eyes, I have to keep adjusting my field of view to focus on different objects. Why doesn’t the world just grow up and always be in focus? Waaah”. #enforcethemillenialstereotype #notgoodenoughtoworkatNASA

      1. Duane Kemp Avatar
        Duane Kemp

        Earth images are composites. Digital signal are “received” to create composites of the stars. Everything is digitally produced, even NASA images. Being disappointed that the information collected has not produced a “real” space 360° pano is expressed, especially in the advanced needs of 3D production. Though the budget far exceeds that of ILM and Weta Digital, it’s outside of NASA that one must go. But, my comment was sure not in the vein of the confrontational retort by you. Looks as though you have practice at river crying, which far outperforms any I could make. Good luck with that.

        1. Mace Avatar

          Congratulations, reading your posts it is clear to everyone that both you guys are douchebags.

          Turning in a circle in zero g on a spacewalk to capture the space around earth with no magnification would be kind of boring and not worth the effort. Using a camera in zero g is about 1000 times more difficult than using a camera in a diving enclosure.

          Most photos in space are taken by space telescope which cannot take a 360 panoramic view of something light years away…

          I’m sure you realise that the level of magnification used to take most
          of the amazing photos would mean a simple 360 panorama taken by a space telescope would take a few days (or possibly months) to scroll through right…

          Appreciate that CGI developed to do things that were not possible in the real world and stop your bitchin’.

  • Maritimer1 Avatar

    All of NASA’s work has always been copyright free for the simple reason that we, the US taxpayers, made it all possible. So we always owned it.

    1. Nightowl223 Avatar

      There are some caveats, though, to how it gets used. This does need to be known.

  • mark Avatar

    I am really proud of all the “illustrations” and the work of the effects team from NASA that creates all these artificial visuals for society.

    1. Andrei Andries Avatar
      Andrei Andries

      true :)

  • Augusto Furtado Avatar
    Augusto Furtado

    Even those Blue Book like contents classified as top secret? What about those secret dialog contents of the first lunar landing and walk recorded between the astronauts and the mission control center in Houston, about what they saw prior to landing and after that?

    1. Nightowl223 Avatar

      Careful. There’s a tear in your tinfoil.

  • Jonathan Guzman Avatar
    Jonathan Guzman

    This is funny because they have always been available on their Flickr account and on the National Archive website but NASA never wanted to promote. Also the military has been providing this service to everyone in the U.S. for years, which NASA also posts their images there, and no one has made an article about it either. If you got to you can find all sorts of video and imagery from the military and NASA, to include the new Space Force. lol

  • Jonathan A Guzman Avatar
    Jonathan A Guzman

    This is funny because they have always been available on their Flickr account and on the National Archive website but NASA never wanted to promote. Also the military has been providing this service to everyone in the U.S. for years, which NASA also posts their images there, and no one has made an article about it either. If you got to you can find all sorts of video and imagery from the military and NASA, to include the new Space Force. lol

    1. Nightowl223 Avatar

      There was never ONE hub where one can use any search terms, and sort through the results, refine them, and even sort and look by the year it was taken. Now there is. It was never this easy to find specific images before.

  • nightraindreamer Avatar


    1. Nightowl223 Avatar

      *headdesk* Yeah, because it’s not entirely clear that classified stuff is classified.

  • Doug McKenzie Avatar
    Doug McKenzie

    What Galileo, Newton, Copernicus, Aristotle and so many others too many to mention would have loved to get their hands on but without them we would not have this knowledge and photos. However, I do have one thought and that is wormholes and how people in general are always looking for a shortcut. I don’t believe there are wormholes though it is an interesting thought and nothing more.

    1. Nightowl223 Avatar

      Um… so, you don’t believe in something, but you mention it, randomly, nonetheless. And that makes sense how?

  • Rick Avatar

    Awesome CGI photos ?

    1. Ivor Wilson Avatar
      Ivor Wilson


  • Salgood Sam Avatar
    Salgood Sam

    Ah, that headline is misleading. It’s only, in thier own words generally copyright free if used for non profit, education and that sort of thing. They have different terms for commercial usage.

  • Carl Kruse Avatar
    Carl Kruse

    Just seeing this now and congratulating NASA.

  • Space Truckin Avatar
    Space Truckin

    I would like to add that I have nothing to add.

  • ChrisandSandy Miner Avatar
    ChrisandSandy Miner

    Just a word of caution. The article incorrectly states that visitors to the NASA images website may use the images “in any way you like.” Some of the posts follow this same theme. This is not entirely accurate. NASA has in place Media Usage Guidelines for use of its content. The link to the guidelines is available at the bottom of the image collection website and takes you here: In general, NASA content used in a factual manner that does not imply endorsement may be used without permission, but NASA content that is intended to be used for a commercial purpose or in advertising requires explicit permission. I would recommend to anyone intending to use any of the NASA images for a commercial purpose, advertising, or in any manner that tends to endorse an entity, product, or service, to seek the assistance of an attorney.

  • bebek beşikleri Avatar
    bebek beşikleri

    An awesome resource! Thank you.

  • Joe Young Avatar
    Joe Young

    About the alien matter, there’s probably a lot more to the universe than we can possibly know, and I believe you’re discovering dad you learn more and more. I do enjoy watching the videos and such keep up the good work guys and gals

  • yoduhh Avatar

    they should be free. we taxpayers paid for them.

    1. Ivor Wilson Avatar
      Ivor Wilson

      They are. They always have been. Quit bitchin’.