International Space Station Photos

Here are two great recent photos of the International Space Station (ISS). The first was taken by the STS-117 Shuttle Crew while in space. The second was taken by astronomers at a Boston-area high school from the ground.

International Space Station - June 19, 2007
The International Space Station Expands Again
Credit: STS-117 Shuttle Crew, NASA

Explanation: The developing International Space Station (ISS) has changed its appearance again. During the past week, the Space Shuttle Atlantis visited the ISS and added pieces of the Integrated Truss Structure that mirrored those added in September 2006, including a second impressively long array of solar panels. The entire array of expansive solar panels are visible at the edges of the above image taken by the Shuttle Atlantis Crew after leaving the ISS to return to Earth. The world’s foremost space outpost can be seen developing over the past several years by comparing the above image to past images. Also visible above are many different types of modules, a robotic arm, another impressive set of solar panels, and a supply ship. Construction began on the ISS in 1998.

International Space Station - A Visit from Atlantis
A Visit from Atlantis
Credit & Copyright: Ron Dantowitz, Marek Kozubal, Clay Center Observatory
Dexter and Southfield Schools

Explanation: This remarkable image of the space shuttle orbiter Atlantis docked with the International Space Station (ISS) was taken at a range of 190 nautical miles. To record the fast moving pair, last week astronomers at Clay Center Observatory, near Boston, Massachusetts, planet Earth, used a satellite tracking system and 25-inch diameter telescope in combination with a digital video camera. In the sharp picture, Atlantis is below and left of center. The aft view shows three main engines just below its vertical tail glinting in the sunlight. With the Sun shining from below, the body of the orbiter casts a long shadow across the ISS itself and impressive details of the ISS solar arrays used for power generation are easily visible. The large set of solar arrays installed at the lower right was delivered during this visit from Atlantis.

Recommended Books on the Space Station:



  1. Barrie says:

    these were very cool pictures. I was especially impressed with the one taken from earth.

  2. Ray Senior says:

    Great stuff!


  3. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Barrie,

    Yes, I am amazed that they could get such a good quality picture all the way from the ground. And from a high school observatory at that!

    Hi Dad,

    Glad you enjoyed the photos!

  4. Emily says:

    I am very interested in space, and I am highly impressed by the shot they got from Earth! Amazing!!!

  5. Emily says:

    I am entering the Science Fair, and I needed a picture of The International Space Station, because I am planning on building a model with my dad. Although it will be difficult, I am up to the challenge!! Great photography!

  6. Ray Fowler says:

    Emily – That picture taken from earth is pretty amazing. I am glad you enjoyed the photographs and wish you all the best on your science fair project.

  7. Emily says:

    Mr. Ray Fowler- Do you have any suggestions on how to build this model? I was looking on, and the drawings they had on the website looked like they were for the type of person that had graduated from college, not a fifth grader!

  8. Ray Fowler says:

    Emily – Wow, you really are interested in space. Good for you! I also think space is fascinating. All the models I could find online all seemed pretty challenging, but here are a couple links you can check out. I hope these help!

    Discovery Education: Life in Space
    International Space Station – Paper Model
    How To Build An International Space Station Model?

  9. Emily says:

    Thank you

  10. Emily says:

    Thank you Mr. Fowler, but my dad and I got to looking at the pictures, and we looked at our time frame and realized it was at no way possible. We only had 2 days to get most of it done. So, I’ve decided to do a mosaic butterfly and the stages form catterpillar to butterfly. Sounds fun!!! Thanks again for your help!!

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