It’s a busy life for an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS), carrying out scientific experiments, performing robotic tasks, and taking photos of Earth and sharing them on Twitter. Just ask Cmdr Chris Hadfield.
The Canadian astronaut has been conducting these very tasks since boarding the ISS in December.
Tomorrow, all going well, Hadfield and his five crew members will use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grab the Dragon capsule that blasted off with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida yesterday, laden with supplies for the ISS.
Hadfield’s mission aboard the outpost that orbits Earth every 92 minutes at 8 km/s is to last five months, and he has been taking advantage of his vantage point to snap photos of terra firma and sharing them with his nearly half a million followers on Twitter.
Photos such as these:
Rock meets the soil near Capetown, South Africa. “Are these the vineyards where the wine comes from?” Hadfield tweeted along with the above photo.
“Where there’s water, there’s life. Serpentine river and centre pivot irrigation farms in South Africa,” wrote Hadfield.
Cape Town, South Africa.
“These delicate cappuccino frosting decorations are, in fact, endless hummocks of Saharan sand,” Hadfield wrote.
Mount Etna volcano spews out steam and smoke on the island of Sicily.
Glasgow, Scotland, and the hills of Loch Lomond.
The south coast of England, centred on Brighton.
“Lake Baikal, Siberia,” Hadfield tweeted of this photo. “Immensely old and deep, it holds one-fifth of all the Earth’s fresh water.”
Washington, DC, glitters in the darkness of the night. “The Beltway and the Mall both visible from Earth orbit,” tweeted Hadfield.
Milton, Ontario, Canada, with the Niagara Escarpment toward the upper left.
Tectonic plates in The Andes, South America, with visible fault lines.
The River Nile all alight, flowing through Cairo, Egypt, to the Mediterranean.