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The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
(NASA Crew Earth Observations)
Astronaut Photography of Earth - Display Record
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IdentificationMission: ISS026 Roll: E Frame: 15208 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS026
Country or Geographic Name: CHINA
Features: RONGBUK GLACIER, MOUNT CHANGTSE, MOUNT KHUMBUTSE
Center Point Latitude: 28.0 Center Point Longitude: 86.9 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Stereo: (Yes indicates there is an adjacent picture of the same area)
ONC Map ID: JNC Map ID:
CameraCamera Tilt: 16
Camera Focal Length: 800mm
Camera: N2: Nikon D2Xs
Film: 4288E : 4288 x 2848 pixel CMOS sensor, RGBG imager color filter.
Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)
NadirGMT Date: 20110106 (YYYYMMDD) GMT Time: 065705 (HHMMSS)
Nadir Point Latitude: 28.9, Longitude: 86.8 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: South
Sun Azimuth: 191 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
Spacecraft Altitude: 187 nautical miles (346 km)
Sun Elevation Angle: 38 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
Orbit Number: 1542
CaptionsNorth Col of Mount Everest
This astronaut photograph highlights the northern approach to Mount Everest from Tibet (China). Known as the northeast ridge route, climbers travel along the East Rongbuk Glacier (image lower left) to camp at the base of Changtse mountain. From this point at approximately 6,100 meters (20,000 feet) above sea level (asl), climbers ascend the North Col—a sharp-edged pass carved by glaciers, at image center—to reach a series of progressively higher camps along the North Face of Everest. Climbers make their final push to the summit (just off the top edge of the image) from Camp VI at 8,230 meters (27,000 feet) altitude.
Located within the Himalaya mountain chain, Everest (or Sagarmatha in Nepali) is the Earth’s highest mountain, with its summit at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level. Khumbutse mountain, visible at the lower right, has a summit elevation of 6,640 meters (21,785 feet) asl. While the near-nadir viewing angle—almost looking straight down from the International Space Station—tends to flatten the topography, astronauts have also taken images that highlight the rugged nature of the area.
Climbing to the summit of Everest requires much advance planning, conditioning, and situational awareness on the part of mountaineers to avoid potentially fatal consequences. As of 2010, there have been over 200 reported deaths. The numerous expeditions to reach the summit of Everest have produced significant trash and spent oxygen bottles at the various camps, leading the Nepalese government to impose rules requiring climbers to return with their gear and rubbish. Several “cleanup” expeditions have removed tons of material, including the remains of several climbers.
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Recommended Citation: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." .