This New Video From the International Space Station Reveals Earth In All Its Glory

Newbie astronaut Marcus Wandt will soon depart the International Space Station (ISS). It was a short stay, but long enough to leave the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut with a fresh perspective of our planet — and for those of us who haven’t ventured some 250 miles into the sky, Wandt shared the experience in a mesmerizing video.

Astronauts might agree that the most enchanting spot in the ISS is the cupola, a seven-windowed room that points directly down towards Earth. It gives respite, photo opportunities, and, in the case of Wandt, an invitation for personal reflection.

“I must confess that I get a bit overwhelmed seeing so much at once, and realizing how fast we travel around the world, and how small everything seems from here. The world is incredibly beautiful and something we need to take care of and look after,” Wandt shared on January 28 on Instagram.

Two days earlier, on January 26, ESA published a video of Wandt inside the cupola.

In the first shot, the station is flying over the city of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. The Persian Gulf appears at the bottom right and meets the Gulf of Oman at the top left, leading into the Arabian Sea.

“⁣If I just look up all I see is the vast emptiness of space. And then you realise that we are quite small in the Universe⁣” Wandt wrote.

Wandt, who was born in Sweden, arrived at the station at 7:15 a.m. Eastern on January 20 as part of the Axiom-3 mission. He was selected for the ESA astronaut reserve in November 2022. This is Wandt’s first trip to space.

Friday marks Wandt’s 13th full day aboard the space station. He will now be preparing to return to Earth alongside fellow crew members Michael López-Alegría, Walter Villadei, and Alper Gezeravcı. Wandt’s roughly two-week trek into space is part of the ESA’s and the Swedish National Space Agency’s first collaboration with American commercial space company Axiom.

Axiom-3 European Space Agency astronaut Marcus Wandt inside the International Space Station.

Axiom Space

Axiom is a Houston-based company partnering with NASA to develop a commercial space station that would replace the International Space Station. The space agency may seek to ground the decades-old orbital laboratory by 2030, but the logistics are still pending. NASA is currently seeking proposals for technologies to deorbit the International Space Station safely.

But whatever the future holds, a cupola in space is a welcome idea.