Watch the International Space Station Photobomb the Moon in These Awesome NASA Views

The International Space Station (ISS) stands out against the lunar backdrop in a series of stunning new photos from NASA.   

The photos, taken on March 16 from Chantilly, Virginia, captured the space station as it passed in front of the moon, traveling at roughly 5 miles (8 kilometers) per second, NASA officials said in photo captions

The space station orbits Earth about 15 times a day, at a speed of 17,000 mph (28,000 km/h). A new composite image, made from five individual frames, shows the space station during different stages of its transit across the lunar surface. 

A composite image of five shots of the International Space Station as it passed in front of the moon on March 16, 2019.  (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

The space station is currently home to Expedition 59, which began on March 14. The crew includes Expedition 59 Cmdr. Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, as well as Anne McClain, Nick Hague and Christina Koch of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency. 

NASA photographer Joel Kowsky captured this image of the International Space Station crossing the face of the moon on March 16, 2019 as seen from Chantilly, Virginia. (Image credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA)

This view shows the International Space Station about midway through its lunar transit as it streaked across the moon at  5 miles per second.  (Image credit: Joel Kowsky/NASA)

The first half of the six-person crew, including McClain, Saint-Jacques and Kononenko, traveled to the orbiting lab on the Soyuz MS-11 in December 2018 and are expected to return to Earth in June. 

The remaining crewmembers, including Ovchinin, Hague and Koch, launched to the space station on March 14 with the Soyuz MS-12 crew capsule and are expected to return in October. 

Over the course of their six-month missions, the space station crew will conduct numerous science experiments and embark on several spacewalks to repair and upgrade the orbiting lab. 

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Samantha Mathewson
Contributing Writer

Samantha Mathewson joined as an intern in the summer of 2016. She received a B.A. in Journalism and Environmental Science at the University of New Haven, in Connecticut. Previously, her work has been published in Nature World News. When not writing or reading about science, Samantha enjoys traveling to new places and taking photos! You can follow her on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13.