In what is perhaps the final frontier for Internet access, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi shared photos he had taken of Earth from the International Space Station via his Twitter page. In addition to scenic locations and sprawling urban centers, Noguchi's photos provide some of the first looks of Haiti's capital, Port-Au-Prince, just weeks after it was devastated by the recent earthquake. Like the first photographs of Earth from space in the 1960s were humbling in their depiction of our planet as a fragile blue marble in the vastness of space, Noguchi's photos not only remind us of our impact on the environment, but also how far we've come technologically.
Although the International Space Station (ISS) is traveling over 17 thousand miles per hour some 250 miles above the Earth, getting a decent Internet connection doesn't seem to be a problem. Since last month, the crew has been able to personally get online through a special connection provided by NASA.
Among the locals, Noguchi twittered photos from cities in Europe, Africa, North and South America--including some island scenes which the astronaut himself described as "breathtaking."
There's nothing quite as captivating for us terrestrial-bound beings than learning of 'firsts' in space. And, just as Neil Armstrong delivered his famous "One small step for man..." as he took the first steps on the Moon, Noguchi ushered in the age of Internet communications from space in typical 21st century fashion:
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