Still Pictures


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Photograph of John H. Glenn, Jr., Virgil L. Grissom and Alan B. Shepard, Jr. Local Identifier: 255-G-61-MR3-52; National Archives Identifier: 17409899

Among the largest groups of photographic records in the Still Picture Branch are the holdings of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its predecessor the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The holdings consist of 103 series and over one million unique photographs taken between approximately 1903 and 2011. They include a mix of traditional analog photography (e.g., prints, negatives, transparencies), digital surrogates and born-digital photography.

Subjects found within the holdings document activities, facilities, events, personnel and daily operations at NASA Headquarters and its field facilities. Significant coverage is given to launches and manned spaceflight missions. Below is just a select sample of series that can be found in our holdings.





Select Mission Photography


Photographs of the Mercury and Gemini Space Programs, 1960-1966

Series 255-MG. This series consists of color and black-and-white spaceflight original, duplicates, and scans of photographs taken during the Mercury and Gemini programs.


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Gemini IV Mission Image - EVA,off coast of California. Local Identifier: 255-MG-S65-30430; National Archives Identifier: 5804875



Photographs from the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, 1966-1967

255-LO. This series consists of digital images created from the original data tapes, which captured the radio signal sent back to Earth during the five Lunar Orbiter missions.



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Lunar Orbiter 1. Local Identifier: 255-LO-1-1102-H2; National Archives Identifier: 86744668



Photographs from the Apollo Space Program, 1967-1972

Series 255-AMP
. This series consists of digital surrogates and corresponding metadata created from still film taken during Project Apollo missions. 



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Apollo 11 Mission image - Astronaut Edwin Aldrin sets up the PSEP. Local Identifier: 255-AMP-AS11-40-5948; National Archives Identifier: 16685277



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Apollo 13 Mission image - View of crew in Lunar Module. Local Identifier: 255-AMP-AS13-62-9004; National Archives Identifier: 16696658


Master Film of Manned Spaceflight Mission Photographs, 1960 - 1984

Series 255-MMP.  This series consists of 2nd generation master copies made from the original spaceflight film. Coverage begins with Project Mercury and goes through the first five Space Shuttle missions.

Mission Photographs Taken During the Space Shuttle Program, 1981-2011

Series 255-STS. This series consists of digital surrogates created from original still film taken during Space Shuttle missions and born-digital photographs taken during later missions.


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STS-135 - Ferguson and Hurley on FWD Flight Deck. Local Identifier: 255-STS-s135e006297.jpg; National Archives Identifier: 23642340


Space Shuttle Engineering Digital Photographs of Launchings and Landings, 2005-2011

Series 255-ESD.  This series consists of digital photographs of the Space Shuttle orbiter and related launch components during pre-launch, launch and post-launch inspections for missions STS-114 through STS-135. In addition, there are photographs of astronauts prior to boarding the Shuttle, and photographs of Shuttle landings. A small number of images depict children's artwork that were created for each mission.


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STS-116 - Launch. Local Identifier: 255-ESD-KSC-306D-1348_0029.JPG; National Archives Identifier: 24624705


Photographs Relating to Space Exploration, 1966 - 1998

Series 255-NSS. This series consists of photographs taken by space probes, space observatories, earth observation satellites, manned space flight missions and Skylab.


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Photograph of the Earth and Moon Taken by Voyager 1. Local Identifier: 255-NSS-5-78-HC-3; National Archives Identifier: 7580925


Select Institutional Photography

Photographs of NACA Research Facilities and Activities

Series 255-RF. The photographs in this series represent the central photographic file of the Information Office of NACA Headquarters at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory at Hampton, VA. 

Photographic Series from NASA Headquarters

These series encompass the collections created, accumulated and maintained by the NASA’s Headquarters Public Affairs Office. The photographs were taken between 1958 and 2002. Images document activities, facilities, and personnel at various NASA facilities and the principal focus is manned space flight.


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Photograph of Section of the Wreckage of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Local Identifier: 255-CB-87-H-17; National Archives Identifier: 593719


Kennedy Space Center Central Photographic Files

Series 255-KSC. This series consists of photographs that document activities, facilities, events, personnel, and daily operations at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Significant coverage is given to launches and launch related activity of various spacecraft throughout the history of the United States Space Program.


Photographs Relating to Agency Activities, Facilities and Personnel (Glenn Research Center)

Series 255-GRC.   This series consists of analog photographs and corresponding digital reproductions documenting facilities, personnel, and aeronautic and space technology development at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, Ohio and the GRC field station Plum Brook in Sandusky, Ohio.



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Space Shuttle Model. Local Identifier: 255_GRC_1975_02610.jpg; National Archives Identifier: 17443672


Photographs Relating to Agency Activities, Facilities and Personnel (Goddard Space Flight Center)

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Hubble Space Telescope. Local Identifier: 255-PG-2-24; National Archives Identifier: 17394019

These two series consist of analog (255-GS) and digital photographs (255-GSD) documenting facilities, personnel, conferences and events at Goddard Space Flight Center as well as spacecraft development. 


Select Poster Series

Earth and Space Science Missions Posters, 1992 - 2009

255-PG - This series consists of posters relating to earth and space science missions managed by various offices within the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).




To Request Information about Records

For further information about the photographs and graphic works held in the Still Picture unit at College Park, contact:

Mail: Still Picture Reference

Special Media Archives Services Division

National Archives at College Park

Room 5360

8601 Adelphi Road

College Park, Maryland 20740-6001


Telephone: 301-837-0561

Fax: 301-837-3621


If you’d like to use an image from the Still Picture Branch holdings, please see our Copyright and Permissions page.