NASA History Captured In Strange and Beautiful Photograph Collection

That? That's the Gossamer Penguin, an experimental solar-powered aircraft cruising above a dry lakebed at NASA Dryden's Flight Research Center in July 1979. It's just one of the many strange, spectacular images of NASA's early days now available online.

The images come from NASA Commons, a joint effort by NASA, Flickr, and Internet Archive to round up 50 years of photographic history of the venerable agency. The collection comprises three sections: Building NASA, Launch/Takeoff, and NASA Center Namesakes, which include pictures of experimental crafts, a variety of launches, and the people who made it all happen. As you can imagine, many of photographs are incredibly cool:

[gallery 5627922]

The Internet Archive already has an excellent collection of NASA-related shots up at NASA Images, but the new handpicked NASA Commons collection is a welcome addition. [NASA Commons via The Atlantic]