Seeing natural disasters and other events happening on Earth from the bird's-eye-view of the International Space State can often seem, well, detached. But for one astronaut on the ISS, the fact that he's seeing the Texas fires rage from space was particularly saddening.
NASA astronaut Mike Fossum asked Mission Control to update him on the fires; they were nearing a place close to his heart. Space.com has more:
Did you guys confirm that the state park Bastrop is one of the directly affected areas with the fire in that region?" Fossum asked from space on Tuesday (Sept. 6).
"Yes Mike, unfortunately that's true," capcom Jay Marschke replied from Houston. "The news agencies are reporting up to two-thirds of the park has been burned and hundreds of homes in the area have been destroyed."
Fossum, an "avid outdoorsman," according to NASA spokeswoman Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters, was stunned.
"Oh, wow," he said. "Wow, that's rough news. Thanks. We're really thinking about all those folks through there."
Watch the footage astronauts have taken from space and their communication with Mission Control: