Houston, Galveston Bay, Texas, USA
51J-143-126 (5 Oct. 1985) --- The vertical stabilizer of the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Atlantis serves to partially frame this scene of Metropolitan Houston. Hold photo with vertical tail at top so that north will be at top. America's fourth largest city, with its radiating highway network, lies at the junction between the East Texas piney woods, containing lakes Conroe and Livingston (near top center and top right, respectively), and the coastal prairie, now largely farmland (left side of frame). The coast stretches from the left at Freeport and the mouth of the Brazos River, past Galveston and Texas City, and the circle of the High Island Salt Dome (clearly seen at lower right near the Bolivar Peninsula), to Port Arthur on the Neches River (far right). Patterns of muddy and clear water are particularly well-displayed in Galveston and Trinity Bays, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. With a close look, the Harris County Domed Stadium (Astrodome) can be recognized on Houston's south side. The NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the Clear Lake City area are easily delineated some 25 miles southeast of downtown Houston. The scene was recorded on film by one of the STS-51J crewmembers using a handheld Hasselblad camera and 70mm film.