The remotely controlled Sally Ride EarthKAM aboard the International Space Station acquired this photograph on July 14, 2016, as the orbiting laboratory flew over Lake Powell and the border of Utah and Arizona.
The EarthKAM program allows students to request photographs of specific Earth features, which are taken by a special camera mounted on the space station when it passes over those features. The images are posted online for the public and students in participating classrooms around the world to view.
EarthKAM is the only program providing students with such direct control of an instrument on a spacecraft orbiting Earth, teaching them about environmental science, geography and space communications. The project was initiated by Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, in 1995 and called KidSat; the camera flew on five space shuttle flights before moving to the space station on Expedition 1 in 2001.