What Was It Like to Experience 9/11 From Space?Astronaut Frank Culbertson was looking down at Earth that horrible day
On Sept. 11, 2001, as smoke rose from the World Trade Center site, American astronaut Frank Culbertson was aboard the International Space Station, soaring high over Earth.
"I didn't know exactly what was happening," he recalled, "but I knew it was really bad, because there was a big cloud of debris covering Manhattan."
Soon after, of course, he learned that planes had struck the World Trade Center. He captured this haunting photo of smoke rising from the site.
"It's horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point," he said later. "The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the Earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are."
Culbertson recalls the experience beginning at 1:25 in the NASA video below.
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