NASA celebrates in-house photographers with these competition winners

(Image credit: NASA/Josh Valcarcel/Norah Moran/Norah Moran)

NASA has been spoiling us with stunning imagery this month. Having released the first images from the James Webb Space telescope (opens in new tab) it has also revealed the winners of its fourth annual Photographer of the Year competition. 

This contest isn't open to the public, but instead it celebrates photographers who actually work at the space agency. The results are diverse and impressive, including several black and white portraits of astronauts, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and even some lunar field geology tasks taking place.

There were four categories for NASA photographers to enter: Portrait, Documentation, People and Places, and the overall winners were released by NASA on Twitter (opens in new tab). See them below.


The Blue Angels crew tour the inlet of the NFAC’s 80-by-120-foot wind tunnel test section in building N221 (Image credit: NASA/Dominic Hart)




xEMU Antenna testing being performed in the B14 Anechoic Chamber to inspect MLI keep out zones for the antennas. The xEMU Test article is named xGUS, the successor to the EMU Test Article also named GUS (named after Gus Grissom and his iconic silver spacesuit). Image taken from where "horn" is located that sends out radio frequency signals for test (Image credit: Norah Moran)


NASA astronaut Jonny Kim wearing a high-altitude pressure suit worn in the WB-57 aircraft, which is capable of flying at altitudes over 60,000 feet (Image credit: Norah Moran – NASA – Johnson)


Official NASA Portrait of astronaut Tom Marshburn wearing the Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit in Building 8’s Photo Studio at the Johnson Space Center, July 19, 2021 (Image credit: NASA/Josh Valcarcel)


The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft onboard, is seen during sunrise, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at Space Launch Complex 4E, Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. DART is the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test, demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection technology. The mission was built and is managed by the Johns Hopkins APL for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)


Test subjects Kelsey Young and Tess Caswell evaluate lunar field geology tasks as part of the Exploration Extravehicular Activity (xEVA) night operations development tests conducted at Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard (Image credit: Norah Moran – NASA – Johnson)


Engineering Technician Ryan Fischer torques the Force Gauge Ring on to the vibe table in preparation for vibration testing of the PACE spacecraft bus at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland on June 16th, 2021 (Image credit: NASA/Denny Henry)

Don't forget that you can also see an Astronomy Picture of the Day (that's 35 years' worth of amazing NASA images) courtesy of the NASA archive.

Read more

Best camera for astrophotography (opens in new tab)
Best budget telescopes (opens in new tab)
Best deep-space telescopes (opens in new tab)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Lauren Scott
Managing Editor

Lauren is the Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, having previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) magazine, a practical-focused publication that inspires hobbyists and seasoned pros alike to take truly phenomenal shots and get the best results from their kit. 

An experienced photography journalist who has been covering the industry for over eight years, she has also served as technique editor for both PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and DCW's sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)

In addition to techniques and tutorials that enable you to achieve great results from your cameras, lenses, tripods and other photography equipment, Lauren can regularly be found interviewing some of the biggest names in the industry, sharing tips and guides on subjects like landscape and wildlife photography, and raising awareness for subjects such as mental health and women in photography.