On another April 12th,
in 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alexseyevich Gagarin
became the first human
to see planet Earth from space.
Commenting on his view from orbit
he reported, "The sky is very dark; the Earth is bluish.
Everything is seen very clearly".
On yet another April 12th, in 1981 NASA launched the
first space shuttle.
To celebrate in 2013,
image from the orbiting International
Space Station, a stunning view of the planet at night
from low Earth
Constellations of lights
connecting the densely
populated cities along the Atlantic east coast of the United States
are framed by two Russian spacecraft docked at the space station.
Easy to recognize cities include New York City and Long Island
at the right.
From there, track toward the left for Philadelphia, Baltimore,
and then Washington DC near picture center.
ISS Expedition 30,