The port city of Pohang is located on the eastern coastline of South
Korea and provides access to the East Sea and Sea of Japan. In this
astronaut photo from June 12, 2009, the urban fabric of Pohang is
strikingly divided by the Hyeongsan River. To the west of the river,
residential and commercial development is characterized by
small-footprint, gray- and white-roofed buildings connected by a dense
The eastern side of the river is dominated by industrial development
associated with the Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO) steelyard.
This development (image center) includes large factory and storage
buildings with striking light blue and light red rooftop. Green
vegetated hills and mountains border the urban area to the east, west,
and south, and several vegetated hills remain within the industrial
area. Numerous boat wakes are also visible to the east-northeast of the
POSCO steelyard docks.
While the Pohang area has been occupied by small fishing villages
since approximately 1500 BC, development of an urban area only began in
1930 when harbor facilities were constructed. POSCO began construction
of a large steel mill and associated facilities in 1968, with
production of steel products commencing in 1972. The steel industry is
still a major component of the city’s economic base, but recent efforts
to lessen dependance on heavy industry has fostered new interest in
environmentalism and culture within Pohang.
Astronaut photograph ISS020-E-9011
was acquired on June 12, 2009, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera fitted
with 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 20 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 to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that
will be of the greatest value to 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.