Tag Archives: Reid Wiseman

No Borders in Space: An Astronaut’s Perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A German astronaut named Alexander Gerst recently created a lot of online attention earlier this week with a picture he posted of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from space.

These photos were taken from the International Space Station as it flew over Israel last week. Below is the image that went viral, getting over 39,000 re-tweets after Gerst posted it on Twitter.

As you can see, from space, borders are indistinguishable…

Gerst also added that the crew could actually see the rocket explosions as they passed over the region at night.

Gerst, a German astronaut is still currently aboard the International Space Station with American Reid Wiseman and Russian Maxim Suarev.

The crew has had some fun since they departed Earth on May 28th, even playing some zero gravity soccer and making friendly wagers on the recent World Cup.

But the mood has become a bit more somber with the end of the Cup and the resurgence of the conflict in the Middle East.

In a blog post he wrote for the European Space Agency’s website, Gerst gave insight into the astronauts’ perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His introduction is very powerful:

“Some things that on Earth we see in the news every day and thus almost tend to accept as a ‘given,’ appear very different from our perspective. We do not see any borders from space.

We just see a unique planet with a thin, fragile atmosphere, suspended in a vast and hostile darkness. From up here it is crystal clear that on Earth we are one humanity, we eventually all share the same fate.

What came to my mind at the time of this photo was, if we ever will be visited by another species from somewhere in the universe, how would we explain to them what they might see as the very first thing when they look at our planet?

How would we explain to them the way we humans treat not only each other but also our fragile blue planet, the only home we have? I do not have an answer for that.”

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Watch Astronauts Play Soccer and Do Goal Celebrations in Zero Gravity on the ISS (Video)

The World Cup is in full swing, with billions of people tuning in to watch the games all over the planet. But there are also a couple of guys watching the world’s largest sporting event from space.

To commemorate the start of the tournament, NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson joined German astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency to create this awesome video of them practicing some moves in zero-G.

Then yesterday they released this video of their best goal celebrations:

This is the second World Cup that astronauts have viewed from the International Space Station (they also tuned in for the 2010 Cup). It’s pretty fitting that the astronauts are watching a tournament that brings together countries from all over the world- the ISS itself was built by five different space agencies representing 15 different countries.

The German and American astronauts actually made a bet over yesterday’s game: if the U.S. won, they could draw a U.S. flag on Gerst’s bald head. But if the U.S. lost, both the American’s had to shave their heads. I hope Gerst isn’t rubbing in that German win too much though.

(h/t Space.com)

There’s No Politics In Space: ISS Astronauts Dismiss Ukraine Issues By Taking Selfies Together

The three-man crew of American astronaut Reid Wiseman, German Astronaut Alexander Gerst, and commander Maksim Suraev of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency departed from Earth yesterday (5/28) headed for the ISS.

Ahead of the launch, the astronauts took questions from the media. One member of the media asked how the recent events in Ukraine affected the astronauts, seeing as Russia’s relations with Germany and the U.S. have been very strained since the turmoil began.

The astronauts response was awesome:

The three men have built a strong friendship over the years while training together.

“I think it means a lot if you look at our crew as not just a team of three different guys from three different nationalities or continents – we are actually a group of friends… Space is without borders, we fly to an international space station where we do experiments that come back to Earth and benefit all of us – they benefit all humankind,”

said Gerst in response to a question from a German journalist. They took this selfie during the interview to reiterate their unity.

The three colleagues and friends have actually taken a number of other awesome pictures together over the years, including these two.

The crew will spend six months aboard the ISS and will return in November.

Read more from RT here.