A Space Moonrise (and the PromISSe of a New Future)

The Moon rises above (below?) Earth's limb in this view from the ISS. (ESA/NASA)


“The moon looks the same from the ISS as it does on Earth. Only we see it rise and set again and again.”

ESA astronaut André Kuipers tweeted this message earlier today, accompanied by the wonderful photo above showing a distant Moon resting along Earth’s limb. The solar panels of the docked Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft are seen in the foreground.

André arrived at the Space Station on December 23 along with Expedition 30 crewmates Oleg Kononeko and Don Pettit.

In addition to conducting over 45 experiments for ESA, NASA and JAXA during his five months in orbit, André’s PromISSe mission will help educate children about math, science, engineering, technology, and the benefits – and challenges – of working in space.

The program will also encourage the next generation of space explorers to stay fit with the second edition of the international fitness initiative Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut.

A medical doctor, André serves as flight engineer aboard the ISS and will be highly involved in docking procedures for the new Dragon (SpaceX) and Cygnus (Orbital Sciences) capsules as part of NASA’s next-generation commercial spaceflight program.

Read ESA’s PromISSe mission blog here, and follow André Kuipers on Twitter @astro_andre for more Expedition 30 mission updates.