Today’s Image of the Day from the European Space Agency features Bahia Blanca, Argentina. The image was captured by ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer during his first space mission, known as the Cosmic Kiss.
“My first Earth observation pics! Patagonia in Chile and Argentina. These images remind me of time spent hiking in Torres del Paine, sleeping in a tent on the mountainside and visiting huge glaciers that cracked and rumbled as if they were alive,” Maurer posted on social media.
During his time in space, Maurer will conduct experiments that will advance our knowledge of subjects ranging from human health to materials science.
The mission was named Cosmic Kiss by Maurer to communicate the special connection the International Space Station provides between Earth’s inhabitants and the cosmos.
“Cosmic Kiss communicates the special connection the Station provides between Earth’s inhabitants and the cosmos,” said Maurer. “Partnership is so important in exploring farther to the Moon and Mars, as is the need to respect, protect and preserve the nature of our home planet as we seek a sustainable future on Earth and beyond.”
Maurer docked at the ISS with NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron on November 12, 2021. The team will spend six months in space.
ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher said that Maurer’s mission comes at an exciting time for Europe in space.
“ESA has an ambitious agenda as we seek to maintain and grow Europe’s role as a leading space agency. This cuts across all areas of the space economy including human and robotic exploration, telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, space safety and security, and more, and will require close cooperation with all our Member States, the European Union, the space industry, and Europe’s scientific community in the coming years.”
Image Credit: ESA