This detailed astronaut photograph is centered on the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC),
located in the southeastern Houston metropolitan area. The facility was
established in 1961 as the Manned Spacecraft Center and renamed in honor
of the late U.S. President
Johnson (a Texas native) in 1973. JSC serves as the lead NASA center for
both astronaut training and mission control of manned spacecraft—such
as the International
Space Station (ISS) and Space Shuttle—and has done so throughout the
history of the U.S. manned space program. The Center also collaborates
with other NASA and
international partner facilities in a variety of scientific and
engineering programs related to human space flight and planetary
JSC is located approximately midway between downtown Houston and Galveston,
bordered by several smaller municipalities that form a mosaic of urban
and suburban land use (grey areas with street grids, and
commercial/industrial areas characterized by
white rooftops). Large tracts of grassy fields and forests in the area
(light to dark green respectively) include nature preserves, grazing
lands, and flood control areas. Also visible
at image upper left is Ellington Field. This airport services a variety
aircraft used for astronaut training, scientific, and cargo transport purposes.
Clear Lake, an inlet of Galveston Bay, is located to the immediate
southeast of JSC. Both Clear Lake and Galveston Bay appear silver-grey
or light reflected back towards the observer on the ISS that gives the
water surface a mirror-like appearance. Several boat wakes
are visible in Galveston Bay (image right) due to disruption of the
water surface that reduces the sunglint effect.
Astronaut photograph ISS024-E-10403 July 31, 2010, with a Nikon D2Xs digital
camera using a 400 mm lens,
and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center.
The image was taken by the Expedition 24 crew.
The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed.
The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the
ISS National Lab
to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest
scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on
the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can
be viewed at the NASA/JSC
Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.
Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.