NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik has spent the day photographing Earth from the International Space Station (ISS), while inviting people all over Earth to do the same from wherever they are.
With help from fellow astronaut Joe Acaba, Bresnik has been taking photos from the ISS’ 360-degree Earth-facing cupola window. At approximately 13.30 GMT, Bresnik began his challenge looking at Europe, and concluded it by taking pictures of North America, at around 15.00 GMT.
“You can’t look at the Earth and not be changed,” Bresnik said. “You realise every experience you’ve ever had and every person you’ve ever known is down on that little blue marble.”
Bresnik’s photographing of Earth began with a sweep from the United Kingdom across central Europe to Oman, followed by a pass near the Maldives. Bresnik then took in the sunset west of Australia and sunrise over the south Pacific Ocean before it concluding with a pass over North America from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to Montreal, Canada.
The astronaut took on the challenge as part of NASA’s Year of Education on Station, which is an initiative that aims to encourage students and teachers to get more involved with the so-called STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
With this in mind, Bresnik asked educators, students and the general public to post pictures to social media of their surroundings from their unique vantage point using the hashtag #1World1Orbit.
On Friday, it was reported that Bresnik and Acaba had to cut short a spacewalk after a tether used as a ‘lifeline’ was found to be frayed and a backup ‘jetpack’ began malfunctioning.
The spacewalk was needed to replace a blurry camera outside the ISS. However, five hours into the spacewalk, Mission Control saw that the right handle on Acaba’s emergency jetpack was popped open and ordered him back inside.