Wednesday, 23 March 2016

US astronaut tweets shot of Singapore from space

How does Singapore look when viewed from space?
By Lee Min Kok, The Straits Times, 22 Mar 2016

US astronaut Tim Kopra had a unique perspective of Singapore and he did not hesitate to share it.

From 420km up and at a speed of about 28,000kmh, the current commander of the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) snapped the little red dot, then tweeted the photo. Mr Kopra's tweet last Saturday - with the hashtag #CitiesfromSpace - has since been retweeted 980 times, collecting over 2,400 likes.

The night image depicts Singapore as an intricate network of yellow lights. Several large areas, including the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, are shrouded in darkness.

The 52-year-old, who assumed command of the ISS last December for Expeditions 46 and 47, has also tweeted night photos of Beijing, New Delhi, New York and Dubai. His day photo collection includes shots of Rio de Janeiro and California.

Mr Kopra was involved in a harrowing experience while out on a spacewalk with British astronaut Tim Peake on Jan 15. His helmet began to leak water and his walk had to be cut short.

The ISS has been orbiting the Earth since 1998 and has been continuously occupied since the first expedition in November 2000.

Three new crew members joined the ISS at the weekend, including an American grandfather who is poised to enter the record books.

The Russian spacecraft carrying the astronauts docked above the Pacific Ocean, off the western coast of Peru, said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Just over two hours later on Saturday, crewmates Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin of Russia, plus Mr Jeff Williams, a US grandfather of three who is a veteran of long-duration space missions, floated through hatches into the orbital outpost, Agence France-Presse reported. NASA said that by the end of his half-year trip, Mr Williams will become the American with the most cumulative days in space - 534.

Did you know that 222 individuals from 18 countries have visited the International Space Station, some twice or more?
Posted by International Space Station on Monday, March 21, 2016

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