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Looking at Earth

Looking at Earth

May 8, 1986 – Permanent

Air and Space Museum
601 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC

Location: 1st Floor, East Wing, Looking at Earth, Gallery 110

This gallery traces the development of technology for viewing Earth from balloons, aircraft, and spacecraft. The quest for ever-higher, ever-clearer images of the Earth is reflected in photographs and spacecraft images from a few feet to 7.5 million miles away. Some photographs are mural-size.

Highlights include:

  • de Havilland DH-4: an American World War I aircraft used extensively for mapping and surveying in the 1920s
  • Lockheed U-2C: key U.S. high-altitude reconnaissance jet developed in 1954-55 during the Cold War era, with flight suit and typical camera, dating from the 1950s to the present
  • Earth observation satellites: prototypes of TIROS, the world's first weather satellite, built in 1960; ITOS weather satellite (engineering test model), 1970s; GOES geostationary satellite (full-scale model), 1975 to the present; and models of other satellites
  • Landsat image of your state: interactive touchscreen display showing orbital views of the 50 states. Visitors to the gallery can also "punch in" an image of their hometown area as seen by a Landsat satellite

Learn more

Online exhibition