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OnOrbit: December 2020



The International Space Station flies 262 miles above the Atlantic Ocean into an orbital sunrise with portions of the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Kibo laboratory module in the foreground. The two main Kibo components pictured are the Japanese robotic arm and the Japanese Logistics module.


NASA astronaut and Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins checks on radish plants growing for the Plant Habitat-02 experiment that seeks to optimize plant growth in the unique environment of space and evaluate nutrition and taste of the plants.


Christchurch, New Zealand (far right), Lake Ellesmere and Pigeon Bay are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited above the Tasman Sea just south of the island nation.


Cloudy seas are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above the Pacific Ocean about 1,100 miles due south of the Hawaiian island chain.


Snow-covered mountains along the Kazakhstan-China border, including Sayram Lake at top, are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 263 miles above the Asian nations.


The Alps in Switzerland are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 263 miles above the European nation.


JAXA astronaut Sochi Noguchi is pictured inside the newly arrived SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle wearing personal protective equipment.


Look closely: Wasabi peas, Ocean Spray Crasins, apricots, French's yellow mustard, Smuckers strawberry jam, and of course, Sriracha sauce - with Huggies velcroed on the wall to clean up astro faces after eating.


The upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle approaches the International Space Station as both vehicles were orbiting above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.


Surrounded by the Nefud Desert, the city of Jubba, Saudi Arabia, with its abundant agriculture and plentiful water, is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 261 miles above.


Pictured from the International Space Station, the Aswan Dam in Egypt separates Lake Nasser from the Nile River.


A U.S. and a Russian spacecraft are pictured docked to the International Space Station as it orbited above the Pacific Ocean southwest of Baja California.