Orbital View: Land Down Under

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Sometimes, the International Space Station takes requests.

NASA’s Sally Ride EarthKAM allows middle-school students around the world to ask for images of specific locations on Earth. The photos are captured by a camera that was affixed to the orbital station in 2011 and uploaded here. (The program’s website doesn’t say students can remotely control the camera, like the caption here does, but who knows? Technology moves fast.)

The first iteration of the program was started in 1995 by Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.