The largest airport in Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW) is also the fourth largest in the world, and it occupies more surface area than the entire island of Manhattan in New York. The airport is officially owned by the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, but it is sited within the city limits of four neighboring cities (Coppell, Euless, Grapevine, and Irving). This situation of multiple jurisdictions has led to legal battles over expansion since the airport was opened in 1974, and the addition of new runways required a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1994. Over fifty-nine million passengers and approximately eight hundred thousand tons of cargo passed through the airport in 2005.
This oblique astronaut photograph (oblique means the viewing angle is not vertical relative to the Earth’s surface beneath the International Space Station) captures the entire airport and portions of the surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The white rooftops of the new International Terminal D (completed in 2005) are also distinct from less reflective rooftops of the older terminals. A sense of the size of the airport is provided by the approximately 2,800-meter-long, northwest-southeast runway to the west of Terminal D (2,800 meters is about 1.7 miles). The oblique viewing angle also accentuates light reflection off of North Lake (upper right), giving the water surface a grey-green cast.
Astronaut photograph ISS013-E-19323 was acquired May 13, 2006, with a Kodak 760C digital camera using an 800 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Group, Johnson Space Center. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.