Out of this world! SpaceX crew landing back to earth, the Artemis I rocket launch and astronauts preparing to explore the lunar south pole for the first time are among NASA’s photographer of the year winners
- Winners from Documentation, Portrait, People and Places categories announced
- All of the images were captured by staff photographers in 2022
NASA has announced the winners of its fifth annual Photographer of the Year awards.
The extraordinary images all offer Earth-based scenes of the space agency’s activities captured by staff photographers in 2022.
Twelve pictures were selected across the categories: Documentation, Portrait, People and Places.
Highlights range from a photograph of NASA astronaut Bob ‘Farmer’ Hines in an Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit to a richly detailed image of the Aero-Acoustic Propulsion Laboratory.
The first place winners were: Documentation: Eric Bordelon, Portrait: Josh Valcarcel, People: Jordan Salkin, and Places: Jef Janis.
The second place winners were: Documentation: Bill Ingalls, Portrait: Desiree Stover, People: Bill Stafford, and Places: Josh Valcarcel.
The third place winners were: Documentation: Bridget Caswell, Portrait: Josh Valcarcel, People: Josh Valcarcel, and Places: Josh Valcarcel.
In the documentation category, photographer Eric Bordelon came first with his photo of the Artemis I Prelaunch. Bordelon’s telephoto image was captured using a Nikon Z7 and 150-600mm telephoto lens at 210mm. The image shows NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard a mobile launcher at Launch 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The prelaunch image was shot on August 30, 2022
Photographer Bill Ingalls came in second with his photo of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom spacecraft preparing to land off the coast of Florida, with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti aboard
Bridget Caswell’s image of an engineer mapping out the position of rocks during VIPER testing at NASA’s Glenn Research Center won third place in the Documentation category. A test version of the VIPER rover is helping NASA prepare for its mission later this year to find water at the Moon’s South pole. The test rover navigates a simulated lunar surface inside NASA’s SLOPE lab, giving critical feedback to engineers
Photographer Josh Valcarcel won the portrait category with his photograph of NASA astronaut Bob ‘Farmer’ Hines in an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit at the NASA Johnson Space Center photo studio
Photographer Desiree Stover came in second with her her portrait of NASA quality engineer John Tota. Tota is posing inside NASA’s Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) chamber, where he works to ensure the quality of the flight hardware builds on the Ocean Color Instrument (OCI). OCI is an advanced optical spectrometer that will be used to measure properties of light over portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It lead to more precise wavelength resolution than previous NASA satellite sensors
Valcarcel also earned bronze in the portrait category for his hair flip photograph of NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara
NASA’s Photographer of the Year ‘people’ category showcases photographs of people that aren’t strictly portraits. Jordan Salkin’s picture of the Moog Hover Test shows a lone person strolling through the fog at the NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field
Bill Stafford earned a second place slot for this photo of a NASA JETT3 engineering night run in Arizona. It was NASA’s third simulated moonwalk ahead of future Artemis missions. During Artemis III, astronauts will travel to the lunar South Pole region, an area that has yet to be visited by humans
Valcarcel came in third with a photograph of a Navy pilot and NASA astronaut candidate Jack ‘Radio’ Hathaway inside a NASA T-38 jet. This image was shot during a mission to photograph the Artemis I on the launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
The ‘places’ category celebrates image that capture the environments in which NASA’s diverse team of astronauts, researchers and engineers work. Photographer Jef Janis came in first with a richly detailed image of the Aero-Acoustic Propulsion Laboratory (AAPL). Located at Glenn Research Center, AAPL is a world-class facility for conducting aero-propulsion noise reduction research
The second place position in the category went to Josh Valcarcel’s aerial photo of a squadron of T-38 jets flying overheard the Artemis I rocket on Launch Pad 39B. The image was shot during the same mission as Valcarcel’s second-place winning image in the ‘people’ category, on August 23, 2022
Valcarcel came in third with an image of astronaut Loral O’Hara commanding a virtual frontier within the mock-up cupola in NASA’s Systems Engineering Simulator at Johnson Space Center