Just the other day as I was looking at some of the images that have been taking from the International Space Station (ISS) I was wondering how it is they get such sharp images considering they are moving along at 17,500 MPH.

Earlier this week I posted about experiencing Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s daily life on ISS through her long form posts at Google+ and now SmugMug Films has published a short video about photography on ISS. This video features Don Pettit who is a NASA astronaut and a photographer.

You may recall that there is a spot on ISS called the Cupola. Although there are other places on the station to observe what is going on outside of the station, the Cupola and its seven windows were built by the European Space Agency for science and functionality. From the Cupola the astronauts can observe dockings, spacewalks around the ISS and also take extensive photography which, as Don Pettit explains in this video, are more than just pictures but also part of the science conducted from the station to observe our planets atmosphere and terrain.

NASA has long understood that it is important to have a camera onboard spacecraft because that is the visual bang for the buck that engages the public while the science data is being collected. The string of residents on the ISS certainly know how to get some great images in the interest of science and enthusiasm.

You can read the entire interview that SmugMug did with Don Pettit over at their blog.