Today marks the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attack, which saw al-Qaeda terrorists fly two planes into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center in what is the biggest attack on American soil. Almost 3,000 people died that day as four planes were hijacked in the United States.
NASA has taken the opportunity to commemorate the victims of the attack, by sharing images from previous International Space Station (ISS) astronauts of Ground Zero.
One image comes from Jessica Meir, who snapped the New York City area from the ISS in March, 2020.
Another came from ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet who photographed the Washington DC area on April 11, 2017 – the Pentagon, which also came under attack on 9/11, is at the centre of the image.
NASA said: “The attacks of September 11, 2001 were a national tragedy that resulted in a staggering loss of life and a significant change in American culture.
The space agency has also returned to the words of astronaut Frank Culbertson, who was the only American “off the planet” and on board the ISS for the 9/11 attacks.
He wrote shortly after the attacks: “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.
“It’s horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point.
“The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such wilful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are.
“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.”
DON’T MISS9/11 bombshell: The heartbreaking tribute that’s causing more tragedyFlight attendant reveals huge airline changes after 9/11 attack9/11 mystery solved: World Trade Center didn’t collapse due to fire
An image from Mr Culbertson on the day of the attack shows smoke billowing across New York as the two buildings crumbled.
NASA said: “Visible from space, a smoke plume rises from the Manhattan area after two planes crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center.
“This photo was taken of metropolitan New York City (and other parts of New York as well as New Jersey) the morning of September 11, 2001.
‘”Our prayers and thoughts go out to all the people there, and everywhere else,” said Station Commander Frank Culbertson of Expedition 3, after the terrorists’ attacks.”
See today’s front and back pages, download the newspaper,
order back issues and use the historic Daily Express
NASA, September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, International Space Station, 9/11 Memorial & Museum
World news – GB – 9/11 Memorial: NASA images show aftermath of September 11 attack