Fragile Oasis

Connecting Space and Earth: Learn. Act. Make a Difference.
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The Orbital Perspective of Nicholas Kristof

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nicholas Kristof was in in the thick of things during the chaotic days of August 2011 that resulted in the Fall of Tripoli. He stood in Libya’s capital city reporting on events as they unfolded.


Nick Kristof in Tripoli, Libya August 23, 2011

At the same time, and on the same day, I floated in the cupola of the International Space Station, photographing northern Africa, and the Port of Tripoli.


Tripoli, Libya from the International Space Station August 23, 2011

It wasn’t until the day before I returned to Earth in September that I became aware of the link between the pictures.

In space, we feel both less connected and more connected to our home planet. We’re less connected because we are physically removed, and cannot experience so many things that define life on Earth. We feel more connected because we can see the broad canvas of life on Earth from 250 miles above. Helping to connect us to each other on Earth are journalists like Nick Kristof, Marie Colvin, Rémi Ochlik and others who, at serious risk and personal sacrifice, tell the stories that need to be told. Their compassion and their talent compel the global community to action to right wrongs in response to crisis. And, their commentary inspires us not to accept the status quo, and to go out and change the world for the better.


I took this picture on September 14, 2011 as we passed over Northern Africa. Happy Birthday Nick Kristof!