The agency noted that the September 11th attacks are considered a national catastrophe in the US that resulted in a “staggering loss of life” and, importantly, a profound shift in American culture. On that dark September Tuesday, aboard the ISS was the only American astronaut to capture the moment that, some say, could define the 21st century.
NASA is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, which killed almost 3,000 people.
In a satellite image shared by NASA on Saturday, billowing smoke above Manhattan can be seen from space after two hijacked planes crashed into the two World Trade Center towers.
“The smoke seemed to have an odd bloom to it at the base of the column that was streaming south of the city. After reading one of the news articles we just received, I believe we were looking at NY around the time of, or shortly after, the collapse of the second tower. How horrible…” NASA astronaut Frank Culbertson, who took the photos from up above the NYC, said.
“The world changed today. What I say or do is very minor compared to the significance of what happened to our country today when it was attacked,” Culbertson said in a public letter posted after the terror attacks, per the agency.