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Earth from Space

Austin, Texas

IMAGE: Austin, Texas

High-resolution image (103 Kb)

It was Texas hot when Expedition 7 NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu captured this view of the capital city of Austin in late July. A wider view of Austin, taken with a 400 mm lens on Aug. 6, 2003, is also available.

Austin is an expanding city in the Texas Hill Country. A few decades ago, Austin was known as a place where University of Texas students and state politicians co-existed along the banks of the Colorado River, which is seen snaking along the lower left of the image. Today, the exploding population -- 44% growth between 1990 and 2000 -- and increasing development stress local resources like water, green space and transportation networks, prompting city planners to think through scenarios for future development.

Documenting city environments and city footprints over time is one of the science objectives of the Crew Earth Observations payload on the International Space Station. Astronauts have always enjoyed observing cities around the world. These images of Austin provide a 2003 baseline for monitoring its regional development and growth.

Astronaut photograph ISS007-E-11256 was taken July 29, 2003, with a Kodak DCS760 digital camera equipped with an 800mm lens. It 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.

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
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Updated: 09/04/2003