NASA’s Cape Canaveral launch complex in Florida is home to the Kennedy Space Center and the most important rocket launches in history. From this US launch pad, astronaut Neil Armstrong set off on his 1969 voyage to the Moon, the Space Shuttles took off and the Hubble Telescope was put into orbit. Space station astronaut Christina Koch, who is currently hurtling through space at more than 17,000mph, photographed Cape Canaveral from the ISS. The astronaut is a member of the Expedition 59 and 60 International Space Station crew, located some 250 miles above Earth.
The astronaut tweeted: “Our gateway to space, from space. The next people looking up from their rockets at Cape Canaveral will be aiming towards us.
“The people after them will be aiming for something even farther: the Moon. #Artemis #Moon2024.”
Cape Canaveral emerged as the US’ leading space launch complex in 1949 after being first designed a long-range missile testing site.
The first rocket launch officially took off from Canaveral on July 24, 1950, when a V-2 rocket dubbed Bumper blasted off from Launch Complex 3.
Today, Cape Canaveral forms an integral part of Florida’s so-called Space Coast and is the primary launch centre for human spaceflight in the west.
Cape Canaveral is frequently used by California-based rocket manufacturer SpaceX for ISS cargo resupply missions.
But Cape Canaveral is not the only breathtaking photo of Earth snapped by Ms Koch this week.
On Monday, June 17, the NASA astronaut shared a stunning picture of the cities of Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Newark.
Christina Koch is a 2001 graduate of NASA’s Academy program at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).
After her graduation, she worked for two years at the GSFC Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics.
Prior to her work with NASA, the Michigan-born scientist graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering.
In 2015, she completed NASA’s astronaut candidate training and was eventually selected as a crew member for the ISS.
As part of her scientific research, Ms Koch was stationed at the incredibly remote Palmer Station in Antarctica and Summit Station in Greenland.
NASA said: “Koch was selected in June 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class.
“Her Astronaut Candidate Training included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalks, robotics, physiological training, T‐38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training.”