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Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get video from Goddard Space Flight Center?

The two best ways to get video from NASA Goddard are by ordering tapes or downloading from the SVS server.

After finding a tape on the Goddard TV Tape Catalog, or the new HD Resource Tape Collection, you can order the tape for duplication from Interface Video Systems using the corresponding video library reference number (in the format GXX-XXX). More information on ordering tapes is here.

Visualization and animation sequences are usually available in a variety of formats from the Scientific Visualization Studio server. Generally downloading image sequences is the best option for full quality. We recommend the Firefox “DownThemAll!” extension (described here), or the cURL program (described here).

What format is NASA video?
NASA video and multimedia is available in a variety of formats. The NASA TV standard for video is interlaced NTSC, 720x486, 29.97 fps. The standard for HD video is 720p, 1280x720, 60 fps. Tapes ordered from Interface are available in a variety of formats including both DVCPro and Beta. Online video is in mixed formats but generally full resolution frames are the best available option for professional use. Older video does not always exist in the most up-to-date formats.

What is the difference between “footage”, “visualization”, and “animation”?

NASA video can generally be separated into three different categories: footage, visualization, and animation. The term “footage” refers to anything actually shot on a camera. This includes video from astronauts on board the space station, interview clips with NASA scientists, or video of satellites being built and tested. “Visualizations” are video sequences created using actual scientific data. Visualizers from the Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) take actual data from NASA missions and work with researchers to incorporate them into video sequences. Finally, the word “animation” refers to artistic and conceptual computer generated sequences. NASA animators from the Conceptual Image Lab help interpret scientific processes and show things that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, such as black holes or satellites gathering data.

What is the cost of a tape from interface?

The cost of a tape depends mainly on the length and type of tape, but is generally minimal. NASA does not charge for it’s footage, so the only associated costs are those Interface Media Group requires to cover reproduction and distribution costs. More info on ordering tapes is available here.

How do I credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for using their video?

Whenever possible, please include a credit for “NASA Goddard Space Flight Center” in any production using Goddard images or video. Alternate credits are “NASA GSFC” or simply “NASA”. In addition, the Scientific Visualization Studio lists credit information for each of their sequences; if you are using something from their site, please check that specific page for credit information.

Will NASA sign a release for their footage?

NASA generally does not sign any documents releasing its images and video. However, with the main exception of the NASA insignia “meatball”, NASA media is rarely copyrighted. As long as the use does not imply NASA endorsement of a product, most productions are encouraged to use our media freely. Further questions on copyright may be answered here.

Which topics are covered by which NASA centers?

Depending on the topic you are interested in, you may want to or need to search other NASA centers for footage. Below is a brief summary of topics that are covered more heavily at other NASA centers and media numbers for contacting them.

Ames Research Center (ARC) – (650) 604-9000
New Technology (wide ranging), Experimental Aeronautics, Flight Research

Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) – (661) 276-2067
Lead for Flight Research

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) – (818) 393-4484
NASA Science, Planets and Solar System, Robotic Space Exploration (including Mars Rovers, Voyager, Galileo, Ulyssess, and on and on)

Johnson Space Center (JSC) – (281) 483-4231
Human Space Exploration. Astronauts, Space Shuttle, Space Station, Apollo, Gemini

Kennedy Space Center (KSC) – (321) 861-5280
Testing, checkout, and launch of payloads and space vehicles

Langley Research Center (LaRC) – (757) 864-9885
Aerospace, Atmospheric Sciences, Technology Commercialization

Glenn Research Center (GRC) – (216) 433-8806
Spaceflight Systems, Propulsion, Power, Communications

Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) – (256) 544-8640
Space Transportation and Propulsion Systems, External Shuttle Tanks, NASA Science, Chandra

Space Telecscope Science Institute (STScI) – (410) 338-4514
Astronomical Observations, Hubble Space Telescope

For more general information on finding media from around the agency, contact NASA Headquarters:
Sheva Moore
(202) 358-0014

Ask a question:
Further questions, please contact Laura Spector.