Christer Fuglesang

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang, Space Shuttle Mission STS-116 mission specialist, participates in extravehicular activity (EVA) as part of construction of the International Space Station, December 14, 2006. CLICK TO ZOOM AND FEEL THE MAGIC (Photocredit: NASA)


Today marks the ultimate milestone in the lifecycle of a SSEP Mission – launch day. In this case, the launch of the Odyssey II payload of Mission 7 flight experiments. Today we depart Earth and truly venture to the frontiers of space, and in celebration, we thought it would be a good time to share this video by Bruce Berry. It is a gift from past astronauts aboard the International Space Station who captured our world from orbit in stunning detail. We wanted to provide a gift to the student researchers, teachers, and extended community in each of the SSEP Mission 7 communities now awaiting launch of SpaceX CRS-8 from Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, scheduled for blastoff at precisely 4:43 pm EDT today. We also wanted to reaffirm to the Mission 8 and Mission 9 communities awaiting launch of Kitty Hawk on SpaceX CRS-9 and Endeavor on SpaceX CRS-10 over the next few months, and to the Mission 10 communities in the middle of experiment design and proposal writing, that we are all part of a remarkable adventure on the high frontier.

What adventure? Often we humans need to go beyond science to see the beauty around us and the nature of our journey. Artists, poets, musicians – these are our explorers that translate the reality of our existence into emotional terms. So maybe a good place to start is with T. S. Eliot, from the Four Quartets–

We shall not cease from Exploration.
And the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.

And now, Time Lapse Earth – and after watching this video, reflect on T.S. Eliot’s quote above and see if his poetry has moved you.


Some Background: The video below can truly be considered a gift to the human race. Only in the last 60 years has our technology allowed us to venture forth from this world, and see it from the solemnity of space. Countless human generations never got to see what you are about to see – the nature of our existence.

The United States and its international partners have constructed the International Space Station, arguably one of the most complex machines ever built, and the largest spacecraft ever constructed. It provides a permanent human presence in space, and serves as an outpost from which we can look down on our world in reverence and in awe. And in that moment we see pride in ourselves, for the human need to explore has taken us to this high frontier. That need to explore is seen in our children, and threads through our lives. It is what propels the scientist and engineer. And it is what propels communities to undertake SSEP – so that our children can be immersed in journey.

Right now Mission 7 student flight experiment teams are getting ready for the launch of their experiments on SpaceX-8, destined for the International Space Station. Consider where those experiments are heading, to a vehicle traveling through space at 17,000 miles per hour (4.7 miles per second) at an altitude of 260 miles above Earth’s surface – 47 times higher than Mt. Everest.

To SSEP students and teachers everywhere, we invite you to recognize that you are part of this adventure, project the video below on a screen in your classrooms (and boardrooms for the SSEP funding organizations), turn down the lights, turn up the volume, and savor what we humans have done.

Time-Lapse EARTH is a video created by Bruce Berry, Jr., from footage taken by the astronauts on the International Space Station. Found below are Bruce’s notes on the making of the video. See more of Bruce’s work at http://bruce-wayne-photography.com

Time-Lapse | Earth from Bruce W. Berry Jr on Vimeo.


To Teachers:
This video can be put to work as a teachable moment in classrooms. It touches on history, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the human condition – all expressed through an artistry that combines moving images and music.

Have the class watch the video a few times and identify the atmosphere, storms, lightning, land masses, oceans, and cities.

Have students leave a comment below on their thoughts after seeing this video.

Notes from the artist:
All Time-lapse sequences were taken by the astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) (Thanks guys for making this available to the public for use!) All footage has been color graded, denoised, deflickered, slowed down and stabilized by myself. Clips were then complied and converted to 1080 HD at 24 frames/sec.

Hope you all enjoy it and thanks for watching!

P.S. It would be a dream to actually be up there in the ISS. Btw NASA, if you need a Biochemistry Ph.D. to do some work for you up there, I’m your man, LOL!

Music: “Manhatta” composed & performed by “The Cinematic Orchestra”

All rights reserved to their respective owners.
Edited by: Bruce W. Berry @ Website: http://bruce-wayne-photography.com

Image Courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory
NASA Johnson Space Center, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

Footage Note: The slower video represents a closer resemblance to the true speed of the International Space Station; this footage was shot at one frame per second. Clips are all marked with an *.

Locations of Footage in the order they appear:
1. A Jump over the Terminator
2. Sarychev Volcano
3. From Turkey to Iran*
4. Hurricane Irene Hits the US
5. Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean Through the Cupola*
6. Central Great Plains at Night*
7. Aurora Borealis over the North Atlantic Ocean*
8. Aurora Borealis from Central U.S.*
9. Up the East Coast of North America*
10. Myanmar to Malaysia*
11. Western Europe to Central India
12. Middle East to the South Pacific Ocean
13. Aurora Borealis over Europe*
14. City Lights over Middle East*
15. European City Lights*
16. Northwest coast of United States to Central South America at Night
17. Moonglow over Canada and Northern U.S.*
18. Stars from the Pacific Ocean (1)
19. Stars from the Pacific Ocean (2)
20. Stars from the Pacific Ocean (3)
21. Stars and the Milky Way over the Atlantic*
22. The Milky Way and Storms over Africa (1)
23. The Milky Way and Storms over Africa (2)


The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space MuseumCenter for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc., are U.S. National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Magellan Aerospace is a Canadian National Partner on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

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