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20 YEARS, ABOVE ALL

Photos: What the International Space Station has shown us

Johnny Simon
By Johnny Simon

Contributor

Russia launched the first component for the International Space Station 20 years ago today (Nov. 20). That Zarya module was joined in orbit a few weeks later by the first US-built module, Unity.

The ISS has provided an oasis of international cooperation and exploration about 250 miles above the Earth. With astronauts spending months at a time in the ISS, the experience provides plenty of time to see the world in a way few can.

Here’s a look back at the breathtaking and varied sights the ISS has allowed us to take in.

Mountains

NASA
Mount Kilimanjaro, photographed from the the International Space Station in 2018.
NASA
Mount Fuji seen in 2009.
NASA
Mount Hood in Oregon, in 2009.

Deserts

NASA
Dunes around the Aorounga crater in Chad, seen in 2013.
NASA
The Namib Desert.

Cities

NASA
Montreal, seen in 2010.
NASA
Dubai in 2014.
NASA
London in 2015.

Natural disasters

NASA
Mount Etna erupting in 2001.
NASA
The Pavlof volcano in Alaska, seen in 2013.
NASA/Donald “Stu” Broce
The 2017 Thomas Fire outside of Los Angeles.

The sea

NASA
The Black Sea, seen in 2013.
NASA
Nukuoro Atoll, part of the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Northern Lights

NASA
Aurora Borealis seen in the distance while the ISS orbits over the midwestern US in 2011.
NASA
Aurora Australis in 2014.
NASA/Scott Kellly
Aurora Borealis, seen in 2015.
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