As rides to work go, traveling aboard a spaceship to a satellite orbiting 250 miles above Earth must be hard to beat.
European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen did just that on Saturday when he flew with three others on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule from the Kennedy Space Station in Florida to the International Space Station (ISS) in l0w-Earth orbit.
On his way to the orbital outpost, he captured an extraordinary image showing Earth, the moon, and a tiny star-like sparkle that was in fact his destination — the space station.
The ISS appears as a bright white dot, though if you look closely enough, you can actually make out the familiar shape of the facility.
A few hours later, Mogensen and his fellow crewmembers docked at the ISS to begin a six-month stay.
Once on board the station, the Danish astronaut also posted a couple more images taken from the capsule that show the continents of Europe and Africa, specifically southern Spain and a good chunk of Morocco.
Having spent time aboard the ISS one previous time in 2015, Mogensen knows he’s in for a real treat when it comes to dazzling views of Earth. The best vantage point on the ISS for panoramas of our planet is the seven-window Cupola, a module that many of the station’s inhabitants head to during their down time so they can kick back and enjoy the scenery.
The Cupola is also an important spot from where astronauts can assist colleagues on spacewalks outside of the facility, and is used for monitoring incoming and outgoing spacecraft, too.
The ISS has been in orbit for more than two decades, hosting a rotating crew of astronauts who spend much of their time working on a huge range of science experiments in the unique microgravity conditions.