image (536 Kb)
image of the El Paso-Juárez area on the U.S.-Mexico border is the
photograph of Earth that astronauts have taken from the International
Space Station. It was taken on Jan. 26, 2004, by the Expedition
The Rio Grande
River can be seen meandering through the area, forming the boundary
between the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, and Juárez, Chihuahua.
North is to the right in this image, and the setting sun has cast
the east side of the Sierra Juárez and Franklin Mountains into shadow.
of Earth are a concrete way for astronauts to share their observations
and experience in orbit with the public. Scientists integrate them
with a variety of other remote sensing data in their Earth science
research. The record of astronaut photography of Earth starts more
than 40 years ago with the first human space flights and represents
the longest continuous record of the state of the planet as observed
was provided by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory
at Johnson Space Center. 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.