The International Space Station, while known for scientific and engineering experiments, is also an invaluable remote sensing platform. Astronaut photography offers a unique and dynamic aspect to features all over the Earth. Astronauts on board the ISS use handheld cameras to take images of the Earth with a variety of focal lengths available to capture anything from broad to extremely detailed views. The Crew Earth Observations team has made this asset available to the public, catering from classroom research to scientific research in need of views of a particular Earth feature from space.
Submitted requests will be reviewed by the CEO science team, with approval notice provided within two weeks of submission. Once acquired, electronic copies of images will be sent to the requester. Image acquisition and turn-around time varies.
Astronaut imagery can be a powerful classroom tool helping to inspire and motivate students to conduct research in the classroom. The Expedition Earth and Beyond Program, facilitated by the JSC Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate, is designed to help promote student research in the classroom through the use of astronaut photography of Earth. In addition to using the images available on our Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth website, to help students model the process professional researchers use to request new data, they can submit a data request to have new astronaut photography acquired in support of their investigation.
For additional information about the Expedition Earth and Beyond Program and access to useful classroom resources, visit the EEAB website.
Principal Investigator Request
For submission of detailed proposals to collect new astronaut photography in support of basic or applied research, to be led by a Principal Investigator with optional co-Investigators. Submitted proposals will be reviewed by the CEO science team, with approval notice provided within two weeks of submission.
For requests that do not fall within the scopes of Education or Principal Investigator requests, please contact our Public Affairs Office at 281-483-5111.