First image of Earth from the International Space Station
Image provided by the Earth Science and Image Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center
November 2000—A mass of storm clouds was observed and recorded from the International Space Station (ISS) by the Expedition 1 crew members. The picture, made with an Electrical Still Camera (ESC), was the first Earth observation still image downlinked by the three-man crew. Crew members are cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, flight engineer; astronaut William Shepherd, mission commander; and cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko, Soyuz commander.
Because the ISS communication system is still under construction, image files must be compressed at high levels for downlink, resulting in the loss of information. Once communications become fully operational, we anticipate routine exchange of information and Earth imagery from the ISS crew members.