The View From Space: American Astronaut Photography 1962-1972 was the first comprehensive independent survey of the photographs taken by American astronauts in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo manned space programs. It was the first effort to attribute images to the astronauts who created them. Sixteen astronauts emerged whose images stood apart for their photographic impact and historical significance. Interviews with them and portfolios of their work set the format of the book, co-authored with my wife, Julia Van Haaften, in two editions: Clarkson N. Potter (1988) and Smithsonian Books (1989). 

Our SITES-sponsored exhibition toured eighteen venues in six years (including Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and the New York Public Library). Press included television coverage by A&E and ABC’s Good Morning America. Exhibition prints were provided by the Polaroid Corporation, whose Clarence Kennedy Gallery, Cambridge MA, hosted a smaller show, Focus on Infinity, in 1989.


“In this collection of photographs taken in space, 16 astronauts of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions give us a glimpse of the world and the universe they saw firsthand. Pictures…such as Wally Schirra’s sunrise over the earth’s horizon, are hauntingly beautiful. It is one of the many images that will linger in your mind’s eye long after you put the book down.”

Popular Photography Magazine, 1989


“An extraordinary survey, an examination of something only this medium can do. …There’s provocation here for scientist and sociologist, for modernist and post-modernist, for ecologist and technocrat.”

 –The New York Observer, 1990


    The View From Space   Clarkson N. Potter + Smithsonian Books  1988   


The View From Space

Clarkson N. Potter + Smithsonian Books