It is a very different experience is of looking at the earth from the International Space Station. French astronaut Thomas Pesquet posted an amazingly beautiful picture of Mother Earth on Twitter during his second trip to the International Space Station. These images (also posted on his Flickr feed) are a bird’s-eye view of a huge sandstorm sweeping parts of the Middle East from Asia.
“Sandstorm! I have never seen it from space, this one looks big…I don’t know how many tons of sand is flying dozens or hundreds of kilometers. Mother Nature has some power. # MissionAlpha”, he wrote on his Twitter post. However, he slightly improved his post on Flickr column. “Sandstorm! Sometimes I see sand on cars on the streets of French metropolises. Because of this meteorological phenomenon, as a pilot flying to Africa, I know it can be bad sometimes, but I have never seen anything like this from space. This looks so big… I don’t know how many tons of sand have flown dozens or hundreds of kilometers. Mother Nature has some power.”
Pesquet served on the International Space Station from November 2016 to June 2017 as the flight engineer and a member of the 50th and 51st expeditions. Thomas Pesquet took the SpaceX Crew Dragon back to space in April 2021, staying on the International Space Station for the second time for six months.
He traveled with SpaceX Crew Dragon and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, he commanded Crew Dragon, Megan MacArthur as the pilot and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. Pesquet was the first European astronaut to go on a US commercial crew. The photos he shared also show the spacewalks of astronauts on the International Space Station. The other showed his fellow astronaut Akihito inspecting rescue equipment. “I am happy to say that apart from this kind of crew, we regularly check the safety equipments. We will regularly be in space and in all extreme situations, testing rescue equipment, but we hope we never use them!” Pesquet wrote on Flickr.
According to Space.com, the space station flies at an average altitude of 400 kilometers (248 miles) above the earth. It orbits the earth every 90 minutes at a speed of approximately 28,000 km/hr (17,500 mph). In one day, the station covers approximately the distance required from the earth to the moon, and vice versa.