Historic NASA Photos
NASA has partnered with The Commons on Flickr and the Internet Archive to make a collection of 180 historic photos available for public viewing. The photos are arranged into three sections – Building NASA, Launch/Takeoff and NASA Center Namesakes. We’ve compiled some of the photos below but head on over to the NASA Flickr stream for the whole collection. The photos are also available, along with thousands more, on the NASA Images website.
Liftoff of Space Shuttle Endeavour Collection: Kennedy Image Gallery Title: Liftoff of Space Shuttle Endeavour Description: Billows of smoke and steam infused with the fiery light from space shuttle Endeavour’s launch on the STS-127 mission fill NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A. Endeavour lifted off on the mission’s sixth launch attempt, on July 15, 2009 at 6:03 p.m. EDT. July 15, 2009 Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph, Kevin O’Connell
Launch of Mercury-Atlas Collection: NASA Great Images in Nasa Collection Title: Launch of Mercury-Atlas Full Description: In this Project Mercury test, a spacecraft booster by a modified Atlas was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Mercury capsule reached a peak altitude of 107 statute miles and landed 1.425 miles down range. Atlas was designed to launch payloads into low Earth orbit, geosynchronous transfer orbit or geosynchronous orbit. NASA first launched Atlas as a space launch vehicle in 1958. Project SCORE, the first communications satellite that transmitted President Eisenhower’s pre-recorded Christmas speech around the world, was launched on an Atlas. For all three robotic lunar exploration programs, Atlas was used. Atlas/ Centaur vehicles launched both Mariner and Pioneer planetary probes. The current operational Atlas II family has a 100% mission success rating. For more information about Atlas, please see Chapter 2 in Roger Launius and Dennis Jenkins’ book To Reach the High Frontier published by The University Press of Kentucky in 2002 (in which Dennis Jenkins notes on page 98 that “as a space launch vehicle there is no question that Atlas has made a mark for itself, and a great deal of money for its manufacturers”). Date: 02/21/1961
Apollo 11 Launched Via the Saturn V Rocket-High Angle View Collection: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Collection Name of Image: Apollo 11 Launched Via the Saturn V Rocket-High Angle View Full Description: The Apollo 11 mission, the first lunar landing mission, launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida via the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) developed Saturn V launch vehicle on July 16, 1969 and safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. The Saturn V vehicle produced a holocaust of flames as it rose from its pad at Launch complex 39. The 363 foot tall, 6,400,000 pound rocket hurled the spacecraft into Earth parking orbit and then placed it on the trajectory to the moon for man?s first lunar landing. This high angle view of the launch was provided by a ?fisheye? camera mounted on the launch tower. Aboard the space craft were astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, Command Module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module pilot. With the success of Apollo 11, the national objective to land men on the Moon and return them safely to Earth had been accomplished. Date of Image: 1969-07-16
HL-10 on Lakebed with B-52 flyby Collection: NASA Great Images in Nasa Collection Title: HL-10 on Lakebed with B-52 flyby Full Description: NASA research pilot Bill Dana takes a moment to watch NASA’s NB-52B cruise overhead after a research flight in the HL-10. On the left, John Reeves can be seen at the cockpit of the lifting body. The HL-10 was one of five lifting body designs flown at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, from July 1966 to November 1975 to study and validate the concept of safely maneuvering and landing a low lift-over-drag vehicle designed for reentry from space. Northrop Corporation built the HL-10 and M2-F2, the first two of the fleet of “heavy” lifting bodies flown by NASA. The contract for construction of the HL-10 and the M2-F2 was $1.8 million. “HL” stands for horizontal landing, and “10″ refers to the tenth design studied by engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. After delivery to NASA in January 1966, the HL-10 made its first flight on December 22, 1966, with research pilot Bruce Peterson in the cockpit. Although an XLR-11 vehicle, the first 11 drop flights from the B-52 launch aircraft were powerless glide flights to assess handling qualities, stability, and control. In the end, the HL-10 was judged to be the best handling of the three original heavy- weight lifting bodies (M2-F2/F3, HL-10, X-24A). The HL-10 was flown 37 times during the lifting body research program and logged the highest altitude and fastest speed in the Lifting Body program. On February 18, 1970, Air Force test pilot Peter Hoag piloted the HL-10 to Mach 1.86 (1,228 mph). Nine days later, NASA pilot Bill Dana flew the vehicle to 90,030 feet, which became the highest altitude reached in the program. Some new and different lessons were learned through the successful flight testing of the HL-10. Date: 01/01/1969
STS-1 Launch Collection: NASA Great Images in Nasa Collection Title: STS-1 Launch Full Description: The April 12 launch at Pad 39A of STS-1, just seconds past 7 a.m., carries astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen into an Earth orbital mission scheduled to last for 54 hours, ending with unpowered landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Date: 4/12/1981
Apollo 11 Launch Collection: NASA Great Images in Nasa Collection Title: Apollo 11 Launch Full Description: The Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle climbs toward orbit after liftoff from Pad 39A at 9:32 a.m. EDT. In 2 1/2 minutes of powered flight, the S-IC booster lifts the vehicle to an altitude of about 39 miles some 55 miles downrange. This photo was taken with a 70mm telescopic camera mounted in an Air Force EC-135N plane. Onboard are astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. Date: 7/16/1969
Mars Climate Orbiter Collection: NASA Kennedy Center Media Archive Collection Release: National Aeronautics and Space Administration John F. Kennedy Space Center Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899
John Glenn, Mercury — February 1962 Collection: Spacesuit and Spacewalk History Image Gallery Title: Mercury — February 1962 Description: Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr., NASA flight surgeon William Douglas and equipment specialist Joseph W. Schmidt leave crew quarters prior to the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission. Glenn is in his pressure suit and is carrying the portable ventilation unit.