Category Archives: Image Archive

NASA Images selected as one of MARS Best Free Reference Web Sites of 2010

From NASA Images blog:

NASA Images has been selected as one of the MARS Best Free Reference Web Sites of 2010, an annual series initiated under the auspices of the Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) to recognize outstanding reference sites on the World Wide Web. This years list consists of 30 sites recognized by MARS as outstanding for reference information, view the list here.

Kudos to the NASA Images team: Jon Hornstein, Jake Johnson, Greg Williamson and Samantha O’Connell.

-Jeff Kaplan

"Houston, we’ve had a problem"

The now famous words spoken by Jim Lovell in 1970 in the ill-fated Apollo 13 flight. There was a reunion of astronauts and control crew to celebrate the 40th anniversary. NASAimages has many great photos and video from the flight. Here are a few of my favorites.

The news bulletin.
The duct tape fix!
Re-entry and recovery!

Tense ground control.
Success celebrated on the ground!

Check out more at

-Jeff Kaplan

NASA partners with Internet Archive to archive digital imagery

nasaimages - thousands of images to discoverFrom Jon Hornstein at Internet Archive’s NASA images:

NASA gave a nice shout-out to the Internet Archive for helping them address their Open Government Initiative requirements.

Here’s a couple of choice quotes . . .

“. . . (the Internet Archive) serves as custodian of much of NASA’s current and legacy digital imagery records. In addition, IA will help digitize NASA’s historically significant, analog images for inclusion on the Web site, enabling digital archiving with the National Archives and greater public access to these records via the IA Website.”

“Strictly on its own initiative, IA recently began to capture NASA’s publicly posted social media content. NASA is considering exploration of how this activity might be leveraged for records management purposes.”

There’s always cool stuff to be discovered at NASA images:

-Jeff Kaplan

Valentine's Day Ideas : Dogs, Dinosaurs, Spiders and Craters

Valentine’s Day is this weekend so I decided to do a little rooting around the Archive. I found some very cool stuff but a stop animation that was brought to my attention was so cool I wanted to post it first. It is a twisted story of love and lust. Check it out, just amazing:

Duffy the Mascot (1934) –

Which got me thinking about stop animation in general. Turns out we have several versions of the first major film by the early master Willis O’Brien, “Lost World“:

He was the inspiration for the great Ray Harryhausen. We have an early short from him:

Finally, for your astronomy minded lover might I suggest NASAimages’ hearts of Mars:

Superbowl and New Orleans

OK, I confess I was more interested in seeing if Pete Townshend would do some windmill leaps and trash his guitar at the end of their halftime show.

Still I thought I’d check up on some stuff about New Orleans at the

I first took a look at the space view of the Crescent City from NASAimages:

Then to set the mood put on a little music from The Radiators:

And read a little of this old text from 1914: New Orleans Old and New:

From it I learned that Carnival season started in 1827. Here’s a slightly more recent view of Mardi Gras from 1941:

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints and all the people in the Crescent City.

-Jeff Kaplan

Celestial Marbles and Floating Sombreros

Take a break from a hectic day and enjoy the peaceful awe of our universe. “Things That Float” by Stephen Nowlin is the first monthly Guest Showcase in Internet Archive’s collaboration with NASA images.

Mr. Nowlin wrote: “We’re charmed by heavy things that float in thin air, because we’re products of a gravity environment where weight is pinned to the planet’s surface.  When something does otherwise, it arouses the pleasure of our curiosity – it’s a spectacle, and inspiring. ”

All the images are spectacular. I think we often forget the remarkable work that goes into the NASA programs that allows us to see such vivid images of space. It is a wonderful presentation of carefully selected images accompanied by the music of Claude Debussy.

Check out the floating astronaut with jet pack at 2:34, the streaked and speckled moons that look like marbles at 3:57, and at 5:40 all I could say about the celestial sombrero was “what is that?!”

Awesome indeed.

-Jeff Kaplan

Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map

For science geeks, the United State Geological Survey (USGS) is a beloved and respected organization providing a source of thorough scientific research which delves into the subjects of geology, biology, geography, and water, among others.

An important and lasting project of the USGS has been their work with topographical and interactive maps. The Internet Archive houses a collection of more than 50,000 of their United States maps which are given freely for use in outdoor recreation, scientific research, emergency response, or general interest.

Here are some particularly interesting maps:

  • Glen Arbor, Michigan
  • Half Dome, California
  • Central Park, New York
  • Chicago Loop, Illinois
  • Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • –Cara Binder

    Bookmark and Share

    NASA Images project launched

    Internet Archive is working with NASA to make the still images and moving images from the history of the space program available online. Very cool.

    Christian Science Monitor mention.

    Here is the press release from NASA:

    David E. Steitz
    Headquarters, Washington July 24, 2008

    Paul Hickman
    Internet Archive
    415-462-1509, 415-561-6767

    RELEASE: 08-173


    WASHINGTON — NASA and Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library based in San Francisco, made available the most comprehensive compilation ever of NASA’s vast collection of photographs, historic film and video Thursday. Located at, the Internet site combines for the first time 21 major NASA imagery collections into a single, searchable online resource. A link to the Web site will appear on the home page.

    The Web site launch is the first step in a five-year partnership that will add millions of images and thousands of hours of video and audio content, with enhanced search and viewing capabilities, and new user features on a continuing basis. Over time, integration of with will become more seamless and comprehensive.

    “This partnership with Internet Archive enables NASA to provide the American public with access to its vast collection of imagery from one searchable source, unlocking a new treasure trove of discoveries for students, historians, enthusiasts and researchers,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale. “This new resource also will enable the agency to digitize and preserve historical content now not available on the Internet for future generations.”

    Through a competitive process, NASA selected Internet Archive to manage the NASA Images Web site under a non-exclusive Space Act agreement, signed in July 2007. The five-year project is at no cost to the taxpayer and the images are free to the public.

    “NASA’s media is an incredibly important and valuable national asset. It is a tremendous honor for the Internet Archive to be NASA’s partner in this project,” says Brewster Kahle, founder of Internet Archive. “We are excited to mark this first step in a long-term collaboration to create a rich and growing public resource.”

    The content of the Web site covers all the diverse activities of America’s space program, including imagery from the Apollo moon missions, Hubble Space Telescope views of the universe and experimental aircraft past and present. Keyword searching is available with easy-to-use resources for teachers and students.

    Internet Archive is developing the NASA Images project using software donated by Luna Imaging Inc. of Los Angeles and with the generous support of the Kahle-Austin Foundation of San Francisco.

    For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

    For more information about Internet Archive, visit:

    Archival Space

    In honor of the recent announcement that the Internet Archive is partnering with NASA to archive and manage all of their photographs and audiovisual materials, this blog entry is devoted to space science. The archive has several titles that address our fascination with space exploration, including historic newsreels, educational shorts, TV programs and kitschy ephemera.

    aeromedsj.jpgScience in Action: Aero Medicine (1956): In two parts, Part I and Part II. Science in Action was a 1950’s TV series produced by the California Academy of Science. The host was Dr. Earl Herald, a Bay Area science community mainstay from the Steinhart Aquarium. This episode: the physiology of space travel! What happens to the human body during launch, and in orbit?

    1960-12-22_space_progress_00000001.jpgSpace Progress. ‘Man-In-Space’ Capsule Recovery Successful (1960): Newsreel covering a capsule launch test from NASA’s Project Mercury.

    reds-orbitj.jpgSpace History. Reds Orbit Two Craft (1962): In this newsreel, “the Russians chalk up another victory in the space race, as they put two manned spacecraft into orbit within 24 hours.” Cue ominous “Reds” music …

    bigbounc1960_00000027.jpgThe Big Bounce (1960): A detailed overview of NASA’s development of Echo, the world’s first passive communications satellite, with layman’s terminology galore to explain why the satellite is relevant and important for the average person, “For instance, we would like to see live television programs, history in the making, from all over the world. But TV broadcasting presents a special problem. One TV channel requires the space of almost 1,000 telephone circuits.” Technicolor makes for some gorgeous archival imagery here.

    spacesci98_00223000.jpgNet Café: Space Science (1998): The Internet Café was a TV program that ran for seven years in the late 1990’s to early 2000’s, covering early web culture from the vantage point of the average internet café. This episode is a fantastic overview of the presence of space culture on the web circa 1998.

    waystationsj.jpgWay Stations In Space (1961): Despite the fact that, as one user mentions, “the physics are bad” this is still a gem of Cold War ephemera. As archive enthusiast “Spuzz” points out, this is exactly “the type of space race film you would see in the late 50’s and early 60’s to teach people what to expect in space in the next decade or so.”

    nasareport1965.jpgHighlights 1965: A Progress Report (1965): In three parts, Part I, Part II and Part III. If ever a NASA progress report was eventful, it was during the mid 1960’s. Smack in the middle of the “space race,” the organization gives a fairly technical but fascinating overview of its activities and advancements from the year 1965.

    cheerios1960_00000003.jpgCheerios (1960): This commercial features “a team of JUNIOR spacemen with an OUT OF THIS WORLD breakfast!”

    spaceace.jpgSpace Ace: Commercial for a video game that features a character named Dexter, who’s been blasted with an “infanto-ray” by the evil commander Bork and turned into a child. The goal of the game is to “run the bad guy out of the solar system and regain your manhood.” For more on this quest, see the “Reds Orbit Two Craft” film one more time. Pay attention to the ominous music.

    Written by: Stephanie Sapienza