Episode 7: Through the NASA Lens: A Discussion with NASA Photographer Mark Sowa

In this episode, Beth and Mark discuss:

  • The unique behind the scenes perspective as witnessed by a NASA photographer
  • The opportunity Mark created when he didn’t fit “traditional pre-defined roles” in school
  • Watching space movies without a bias (is this even possible)?
  • Some of the most memorable moments NASA gave us, and how we share them with the world


Key Takeaways:

  • Mixing art with science is not only possible, it greatly benefits our perspective.
  • Documenting the good days can be rewarding, and documenting the difficult days can share a true perspective.
  • Space exploration is for everyone, and NASA has made all images shared available to explorers big and small!


About Mark Sowa:


Photographer Mark Sowa is the supervisor of NASA’s Imagery Acquisition Group at the Lyndon
B. Johnson Space Center. He has photographed 45 crew portraits, countless
individual astronaut portraits, documented engineering and astronaut training
aboard NASA’s reduced‑gravity aircraft, and dived over 1,300 times while
photographing suited extravehicular training underwater in NASA’s Water
Environment Training Facility and later in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Training
Facility. He has logged many hours flying aboard NASA’s reduced gravity

Operating eight different camera systems, the NASA photography team captures images, HD
video, high-speed digital motion picture, time‑lapse and spherical 360 panoramas as a record of research and development at NASA. The wide range of multimedia products produced by Sowa’s team not only record humankind’s efforts in space exploration but inspire the public.


Connect with Mark Sowa:

Twitter: @marksowa
Website: https://www.annenbergphotospace.org/person/mark-sowa/