Alexander Gerst, an astronaut from the European Space Agency, recorded this time-lapse video from the International Space Station as it flew over Brazil and the Atlantic Ocean at speeds close to 18,000 miles per hour, 250 miles above the Earth.

Gerst, who joined the ISS crew in late May, is participating in a 166-day mission called "Blue Dot" — named for Carl Sagan's description of distant Earth as "a pale blue dot" as seen on a photograph (below) taken by NASA's Voyager probe 3.7 billion miles from our planet.


Experiments during the mission will cover materials physics, human physiology, radiation biology, solar research, biotechnology, fluid physics and astrophysics.

[Via ESA]

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