Footage recorded by NASA Astronaut Frank Culbertson offers an unprecedented glimpse of the 9/11 attacks as seen from the International Space Station, some
Culbertson said in an interview with NASA that he was relaxing with a Tom Clancy novel when he heard reports of the attacks on New York. The wall between the events in the book and the real world seemed to collapse, Culbertson said. Soon he had undeniable evidence that what he had heard was no fiction: a plume of smoke, from his vantage point a grey wisp, twisting out of Manhattan.
Once I saw it out the window, we took video as the second tower was collapsing. I didn't know exactly what was happening, but I knew it was really bad because there was a big cloud of debris covering Manhattan, Culbertson said. That's when it really became painful because it was like seeing a wound in the side of your country.
Culbertson later described the psychological horror of watching the attacks from such a remote place.
It's horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point, he said. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are.
Here is the video: