There is no disputing the fact that NASA produces the finest space imagery on the planet…or should I say…above the planet? We’ve all seen their work, it is sheer photographic beauty, captured by the finest equipment out there, from a vantage point only NASA’s astronauts can occupy.
Over the years, NASA’s astronaut photographers have always been on the “cutting edge” of photography, using the latest and greatest equipment available. In the recent past, a partial list of camera equipment used on Space Shuttle missions and by the astronaut inhabitants of the International Space Station include 127mm Linhofs, 70mm Hasselblads, 70mm Maurers, 127mm Skylab S190Bs, 70mm Rolleiflexes, 35mm Nikons (film), 35mm Ansco Autosets, and Sony HDW-700 High-definition Television Cameras along with many models of Kodak and Nikon digital cameras.
Their imagery has always been available in various locations on the web, and with a little work, these wonderful NASA images provide a look into the mysteries of space. But if you think even a few clicks is still too much work to access these brilliant images, NASA now has you hooked up with NIX.
In case you have never heard of the NASA Image eXchange, or NIX, here are the details.
NIX is a web-based search engine for searching one or more of NASA’s many online multimedia collections. NIX searches return thumbnail sized images, textual descriptions, image numbers, links to higher resolution images, and links to the organization that stores each image. The NIX service is an initiative sponsored by the NASA STI Program, meant to link the many existing photo databases in NASA.
A few of the endless categories of images available include Aeronautics, Aircraft, Devices, Education, Facilities, People, Projects, Solar System and beyond, Space Flights and Wind Tunnels. If you see something you’d like to keep for personal use, it is allowed according to NASA’s copyright policy.
In a nutshell, NASA’s still images, audio files and video generally are not copyrighted. Anyone can use NASA imagery, video and audio material for educational or informational purposes to produce photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits and personal Internet web pages. But while they are making their images so readily available via the NIX search engine, you may never use the NASA material for commercial purposes, and it shall never explicitly or implicitly convey any endorsement of commercial goods or services by NASA
But for personal use, these wonderful photos are yours for the taking. A look at the NIX FAQ page says that the “recommendation for printing photos is to download the highest resolution image available to your local computer and then use either a web-based photo printing service or a local store that can print digital photos.”
So go NIX yourself, download some of the coolest desktop images ever, just be smart and don’t EVER misuse the photos, period. While at times it might be tempting to use such vibrant images for personal gain, anyone viewing NASA images must follow their copyright policy strictly, because stealing photos for commercial use is, well, stealing.
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