Washington, D.C. (ISS046-E-25742)

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Artist Statement


On January 28th, at around 9 am GMT, Commander Scott Kelly photographed Washington, D.C. from the International Space Station. Down below, the city was fast asleep but its streetlights still shone, outlining the grid of the city in contrast to the dark Potomac River. This way-above-bird's-eye view of our nation's capital gives us a fresh perspective on our nation's capital—one that figuratively and literally transcends politics.

Taken using the barn-door method designed by fellow NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, this photograph was one of thousands Kelly shot on his year-long mission aboard ISS. His mission ​provided space programs ​with vital information that could be used toward the planning of future, longer-term missions, and gave us incredible imagery of our planet from the upper reaches of our atmosphere. 


Scott Kelly | See All Editions


Scott Kelly is an American astronaut, engineer, and retired U.S. Navy Captain. During his time with NASA, Kelly went on four space flights and commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on Expeditions 26, 44, and 45. These last two expeditions were commanded by Kelly during his year-long mission to ISS, along with cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko. This mission, developed for the purpose of researching longer-term missions to Mars and beyond, began on March 27, 2015, and ended with a safe return to Earth on March 1, 2016. During that time, Kelly took thousands of photographs of Earth, from city lights to strange "Earth Art" formations across the globe.

With 340 days in space, Kelly holds the record for consecutive days in space by an American astronaut. Part of what made Kelly an ideal candidate for the year long mission was the access of a "control group": his twin brother, Mark Kelly, is a former astronaut. The Kelly brothers are the only siblings to have traveled in space. Kelly will retire from NASA beginning April 1, 2016.

Space Editions | See All Editions


We're unabashedly into outer space: romantic notions of the great unknown, iconic and uplifting moments in history, how it shapes our vision of the future. These editions are the intersection of art and science, and it's a sight for sore eyes. Blast off into our curated collection of images from the NASA archive.