NASA’s astronaut is one of the six crew members currently orbiting the planet 250 miles (402km) up in space. The International Space Station has been in continuous use since November 2000, with rotating crews of astronauts. Right now, three American astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts and one Italian are on the orbital laboratory. The astronauts are Commander Alexey Ovchinin, Nick Hague, Christina Koch, Andrew Morgan, Luca Parmitano and Alexander Skvortsov.
On Saturday, August 3, Mrs Koch tweeted from space a picture of Earth taken on the ISS.
The astronaut said: “August night skies! For my friends in the Southern Hemisphere this time, can you spot the Southern Cross?
“Happy stargazing and goodnight from @Space_Station!”
The space picture shows our beautiful home planet in the Southern Hemisphere against the backdrop of space.
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Behind the Earth is the so-called Southern Cross or an intersection of four bright stars forming a crux-shaped constellation in the southern skies.
Just over the curvature of the Earth is a glowing green light or aurora of atmospheric particles of gas excited by solar radiation.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the lights are known as Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights.
In the south, the lights are known as the Southern Lights or the Aurora Australis.
And in the foreground of the photo is a Russian cargo spacecraft, known as Progress 73
The spacecraft reached the ISS on July 31delivering cargo from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The cargo capsule carried more than a tonne of fuel and compressed gas, alongside water and foods like cheese, milk, bread and fruit.
Before the Russian spacecraft could dock with the space station, the ISS jettisoned a Progress 72 capsule already attached to the space station.
As the disposable cargo spacecraft detached from the ISS and plummeted to the ground, NASA astronaut Nick Hague photographed the moment it disintegrated in a shower of flame.
He tweeted: “Said goodbye to Progress today to make room for 73P showing up on Wednesday.
“Caught this shot of it during reentry. It looked like a big firework that lasted minutes – flickering, sparkling and pulsing with brightness before it faded into the darkness.”
The ISS can accommodate up to six docked spacecraft at once.