Tweeting from space: “Science fiction into fact.”

It’s amazing when you think about it: Every 90 minutes, the International Space Station goes around the world. And as it passes by, above the clouds, Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield and his colleagues take pictures and post them to Twitter.

Here are some images from space, accompanied by Cmdr Hadfield’s comments:

December 31, 2012: Earth, Moon and Soyuz: Kevin Ford took this picture as we approached Station last week. Science fiction into fact.
December 31, 2012: “Earth, Moon and Soyuz: Kevin Ford took this picture as we approached Station last week. Science fiction into fact.”
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January 1, 2013: “The beauty of the Bahamas is surreal; every blue that exists. Taken on New Year’s Day, 2013 from the Space Station”
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“January 2, 2013: Sands of the Sahara – starkly beautiful, a harshly serene and unmistakable part of the Earth’s skin. Just stunning.”
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January 2, 2013: “Polka-Dot Desert – centre-point irrigation farms in Egypt. A life necessity viewed from a stellar vantage point.”
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January 3, 2013: “Playing guitar in the ISS Cupola before New Years, seeing the world. In space, right side up is a relative term.”

For me, it is both humbling and inspiring to see our planet from above. I am awed by the bravery of these space travellers, and their commitment to “improve life here, to extend life to there, to find life beyond.”

I am hopeful that the direct communication between astronauts and civvies (through Twitter) is putting some of the promise back into space travel. I am reminded of astronomer Carl Sagan who said:

“…every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring—not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive.”

How do you feel when you see these images?

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