A view of Canada under the clouds seen from the International Space Station by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. Visible at top left is a solar panel that powers the Station.
On 1 July Canadians celebrate Canada Day, and Alexander sent them a message from space: “Canada is beautiful! Happy Canada Day!”
The International Space Station is a collaboration between USA, Russia, ESA, Japan and Canada. All astronauts who fly to the weightless laboratory train extensively at sites in member countries.
Alexander learnt to use the Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm 2, at the Canadian Space Agency. Canadarm is a vital part of the Space Station as it captures visiting spacecraft and moves them to a berthing port for unloading supplies.
Frequent supplies are necessary for food and oxygen for the astronauts, but also for scientific experiments. Alexander will run over 100 experiments for all space agencies during his six-month Blue Dot mission.
Visit Alexander’s Flickr page for more beautiful images of our planet and the International Space Station.