In 2001, NASA He led the third expedition to International Space Station (ISS), which was still young and incomplete at the time, as its first unit launched in 1998. Meanwhile, on the ground, on September 11th at 8:46 am. New York, they started Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
All Americans watched in horror what was happening in their country and thousands of New Yorkers suffered directly from it. But there was one It was 400 km above the surface of the panetta And you had a unique vision of the horror that had gripped you the big Apple.
The exact moment when an astronaut sees the Twin Towers falling from space
Astronaut Frank Culbertson He was inside the ISS unit when he learned about the events. “We woke up early because we had to go through routine medical checks. Then, as always, I called Earth to receive today’s news He asked how everything was. So they said: We are not having a good day today.Remember.
Culberston, who participated in the space mission with the Russian cosmonauts Vladimir Deshorov and Mikhail TurinRemember the facts. “I didn’t know what was going on And they started describing to me what was happening. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They also warned me of another plane crash Pennsylvania. It was all crazy. “The column of smoke from the Twin Towers is seen from spaceNASA
“I took my camera I pointed it towards the window. The weather was fine and everything was very clear. I can see how A huge column of dust That came from the city. I zoomed in and could see the lines of smoke coming out of Manhattan. And we can see the second tower collapsingColeberston said.
“I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but I knew it was a very bad thing because it was there A large cloud of debris That covers Manhattan, “said the retired captain of United States Navy, Who was at the time leading NASA’s Expedition3 mission.Culbertson was the only American in space on the sinister day of the terrorist attacks.NASA
“I could see New York City and the smoke from the fires. I thought about all the people who were there and then looked up the East Coast to see if I could spot anything else. It wasn’t a good feeling one had when you couldn’t be with your loved ones, your loved ones, and they were unsure. But NASA has allowed me to contact my wife and I know that she and my children are fineSelect the astronaut.
Culbertson realized this from the start The attacks will change the history of the world. “At that time everything got really painful because it was like seeing A wound in the side of my country, my family and my friends. I knew that we were on the cusp of a terrible change in humankind. Many things will never be the same again After September 11, 2001. Not only for the thousands and thousands of people directly affected by these horrific terrorist acts, but for all of us. “
In addition, the astronaut discovered on the same day that his friend and colleague at the Naval Academy, Charles BurlingameHe was the captain of the flight American Airlines That collided with the Pentagon. “It was a huge loss But I am sure that he fought bravely to the end. Tears don’t flow the same way through spaceCulbertson described.
Despite the emotional difficulty, the astronaut successfully completed the rest of his mission. And after passing 129 days in space, Landed Dec 17, 2001, on the Space Shuttle Pursuit.
Coulbertson, now retired, noted that he hoped so Do not forget the country’s attacks and the lessons they taught. “I think it is important for people to continue to learn from this attack and make sure that we become a better country, and not retreat or turn inward,” he concluded.