NASA has posted almost 200 pictures to the photo-sharing site Flickr in what is the first of many batches of photos the space agency plans to share for public feedback.
The images, divvied up into three compilations and covering more than half a century of NASA history, are available for viewing and download in "The Commons."
Flickr launched The Commons with the Library of Congress to increase access to publicly-held photography collections and provide a way for the public to contribute information and knowledge.
"NASA on The Commons is bringing literally out-of-these-world images to Flickr," said Douglas Alexander, general manager of Flickr. "We are thrilled to be working with NASA to offer such a rich archive and provide amazing insight into this country's space program and its early beginnings."
The group will continue to create and release new photo sets that highlight different elements, themes or achievements.
Visitors to NASA on The Commons can help tell the photos' stories by adding tags, or keywords, to the images to identify objects and people. In addition, viewers can communicate with other visitors by sharing comments. These "crowd-sourcing" contributions will help make the images easier to find online and add insight about NASA's history, organizers said.
The first three sets of photos share a common theme of NASA's beginnings. The "Launch and Takeoff" set captures iconic spacecraft and aircraft taking flight.
"Building NASA" spotlights groundbreaking events and the construction of some of NASA's one-of-a-kind facilities.
The "Center Namesakes" set features photos of the founders and figureheads of NASA's 10 field centers.
Debbie Rivera, lead for the NASA Images project at the agency's headquarters in Washington, said that "the public can help the agency capture historical knowledge about missions and programs through this new resource and make it available for future generations."