If you need to escape Earth for a moment, NASA has just the right panacea. The agency recently launched a new online database of over 140,000 images, videos, and audio files that document its history, from space missions to in-house experiments. Easily searchable, the trove consolidates over 60 visual collections in one location and includes both new and historic images, such as views from the Apollo 11 journey.
There’s enough beauty here to make you cry, from images of gleaming auroras to crisp captures of planets. Not all them are celestial, with plenty of behind-the-scenes glimpses of laboratory work and test runs back here on our blue planet. You’ll even find some space-related art, including concept renderings, retrofuturistic visions, and contemporary works such as Paul Henry Ramirez’s “Stardust” (2007) — an homage to its eponymous mission, made of cometary material — and EV Day’s “Wheel of Optimism” (2006) — which imagines a Martian world with organic plant life.
NASA will continually update the database with archival records and its most recent images, which, as a nice bonus, are almost all in the public domain.