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Space station astronaut speaks of the joy of photographing Earth

Since arriving at the International Space Station (ISS) at the end of May 2020, NASA astronaut Doug Hurley has been tweeting some spectacular photos that he has captured from the Cupola observatory module on the orbiting outpost.

Shot from 250 miles above Earth, the images show the planet in all its natural glory, with Hurley clearly having a blast using the space station’s camera kit. Digital Trends recently featured some of Hurley’s most striking photos snapped over the last month.

The astronaut spoke recently about how much he loves seeing the world from up high, and sharing his images with earthlings back on terra firma.

“Personally, it’s just trying to convey to as many people as we can, just what we see with our eyes when we look out the window up here, and how different it is to view the Earth from space,” Hurley said.

For Hurley, the most striking parts of the experience are “all the differences and all the dynamics of the globe, the clouds, the way the water flows into the ocean, the different features in the ocean, the different features on the land, and just trying to convey that it’s just an almost emotional response that you have when you look down at the planet.”

The space explorer said there are always places on Earth that catch his eye when he’s peering out from the space station. “For example, the Bahamas — every time we fly over the Bahamas, that vivid blue that you see that surrounds those islands is just unbelievable, and you only have to look out the window for about a 10th of a second and you recognize it’s the Bahamas. There are other places like that — the Himalayas are like that, the Rocky Mountains are like that, the midwest of the United States is very easy to recognize and each [place] offers its own beauty to the eye.”

And here’s a photo of the Bahamas, complete with its vivid blue sea, that Hurley posted just recently:

Hurley has a few more weeks to enjoy the view before his return journey to Earth with colleague Bob Behnken aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft — the first time for the spacecraft to bring astronauts home — some time in August.

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Trevor Mogg
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