You’ve never seen the ISS like this.

You can regularly read about the International Space Station (ISS); the space station that orbits the earth at an altitude of about 400 kilometers. Astronauts carry out important scientific research on board the ISS. And while such research or missions to the ISS are regularly in the spotlight, now is the time to put the space station itself in the spotlight. Because look, isn’t she beautiful?


The ISS sparkles in the photo at the top of this article and in the photos below. The photos were taken by ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, just after undocking the Crew Dragon Endeavour; the SpaceX spacecraft that recently started to shuttle between Earth and the ISS to drop off and pick up astronauts there. The crew aboard the spacecraft were treated to this stunning view just before setting course for Earth again.

Image: ESA/NASA-T. pesquet

Image: ESA/NASA-T. pesquet


The ISS is an incredibly clever piece of space technology. The space station weighs about 420 tons and moves at about 27,000 kilometers per hour. Every day it completes about 16 orbits around the Earth. The station is a collaboration between various space agencies and countries and has been the symbol of peaceful international cooperation for 23 years. It represents the best of our aerospace capabilities, as well as humanity’s pursuit of scientific knowledge and spatial exploration.


As mentioned, aboard the ISS mainly scientific research is carried out, especially in microgravity. But important experiments and tests, for example, are also being carried out that will eventually pave the way for manned missions to the Moon and Mars. At the same time, the knowledge and skills gained on board the ISS sometimes also benefit life on our planet.

Photos of the ISS

Although you can regularly see the ISS flying overhead, close-up images of the space station are a lot rarer. Although you probably already know what the ISS looks like, the new photos from Pesquet put the space station in a new light. And let’s face it, you’ve probably never seen the ISS like this!

Image: ESA/NASA-T. pesquet

Image: ESA/NASA-T. pesquet

Image: ESA/NASA-T. pesquet

Thanks to the photos, you can imagine yourself in the vicinity of the ISS, without having to pay tens of millions of euros for a space trip yourself. Thank you Pesquet!

Did you know…

…ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet often holds his camera at the ready during his stay on the ISS? View the photos he took during a spacewalk here. People with a fear of heights, be warned!