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Homeward bound private astronaut shares gorgeous night shots of Earth

Earth as seen from the International Space Station.
Earth as seen from the International Space Station. Marcus Wendt/Axiom Space/NASA

Axiom Space’s third private mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was supposed to last two weeks, but the all-European crew stayed for a few extra days while it waited for the weather conditions to improve at the splashdown site off the coast of Daytona, Florida.

Having finally undocked from the space station on Wednesday, Ax-3 crewmembers Walter Villadei, Alper Gezeravcı, and Marcus Wandt, and professional astronaut Michael López-Alegría are now on their way home in a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that’s set to splash down on Friday morning.

During the extra time aboard the orbital outpost, Wandt, who’s shown himself to have a keen eye during his stay, shared a final set of stunning Earth photos captured from the ISS about 250 miles up.

Something in the things she shows me… 🎶#Muninn #Earth #NoFilter pic.twitter.com/jXwh3wnUCO

— Marcus Wandt (@astro_marcus) February 8, 2024

Wandt doesn’t say what camera he used for the images, but the space station is known to have a large collection of professional-grade camera bodies and lenses for visitors to use. In fact, NASA is in the process of updating its ISS camera equipment from older DSLR bodies to mirrorless Nikon Z9 cameras after delivering a consignment of them last month.

During breaks from science research, astronauts aboard the ISS often head for the Cupola, a seven-window module that offers panoramic views of Earth and beyond. It’s the ideal vantage point to capture pictures of our planet.

And with the station orbiting Earth about 16 times every 24 hours, the canvas is always changing when you do have a chance to peer out from the confines of the Cupola.

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