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September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks - 9/11 Attacks

World Trade Center Twin Towers & Pentagon Attacks Viewed From ISS on 9/11


9/11 Terrorist Attacks on World Trade Center Twin Towers From ISS – September 11, 2001 Attacks & the Story of 911

International Space Station Expedition 3 Crew - September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks - 9/11 Attacks

The effects of terrorists crashing airplanes into the World Trade Center Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 were devastating to most of us here in the United States. Many people around the world were also shocked and sympathetic. Most people will always remember 9/11/01, but, what kind of effect did the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks of 9/11 have off the Earth, on the International Space Station?

Commander Frank Culbertson (Captain, USN Retired) launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery (Mission STS-105) on August 10, more than a month before the 9/11 World Trade Centers terrorist attacks, docking with the International Space Station on August 12. He, then, assumed command of the ISS on August 13. His Expedition 3 crew included two Russian cosmonauts, Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Nikolaevich Dezhurov, Soyuz Commander, and Mr. Mikhail Tyurin, Flight Engineer. When the Shuttle Discovery undocked on August 20, returning the Expedition 2 crew to Earth, Commander Culbertson, Dezhurov, and Tyurin were already hard at work on their full plate of science experiments.

The days that followed were very busy, if uneventful. There were many experiments to perform in Bioastronautics Research, Physical Sciences, Space Product Development, and Space Flight research. As well, preparations were underway for four EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activity), also called space walks.

The morning of September 11, 2001 (9/11) was busy as usual, according to Commander Culbertson. “I had just finished a number of tasks this morning, the most time-consuming being the physical exams of all crew members.” After completing this last task, he had a private conversation with the flight surgeon on Earth who told him they were having “a very bad day on the ground.”

He told Commander Culbertson as much as he could about the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Centers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. “I was flabbergasted, then horrified,” said Commander Culbertson. “My first thought was that this wasn't a real conversation, that I was still listening to one of my Tom Clancy tapes. It just didn't seem possible on this scale in our country. I couldn't even imagine the particulars, even before the news of further destruction began coming in.”

At that point, Soyuz Commander, Vladamir Dezhurov, sensing that something very serious was being discussed approached Commander Culbertson, who also called the flight engineer, Mikhail Tyurin into the module. As he explained what had happened to his Russian colleagues, they were both “amazed and stunned.” He felt they “clearly understood and were very sympathetic.”

Checking the world map on the computer, they discovered they were heading southeast out of Canada and would be passing over New England soon. Commander Culbertson rushed around the International Space Station to find a window that would give him a view of New York City, discovering the one in Tyurin’s cabin provided the best view. He grabbed a video camera and began filming.

It was approximately 9:30 CDT, 10:30 on 9/11/2001 at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

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Iraq Pictures and Video

Although Iraq was not involved in the 9/11 attacks, the US has continued its War on Terror by deposing Saddam Hussein. Here are some images and a video of Iraq and the surrounding area taken before the war.

* Images of the Iraq Region Taken From Space
* Video Showing Views of Iraq, Iran, and the Caspian Sea

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