03/10/2020

The astronauts spotted island reefs, bright city lights, and Brazil’s biggest lagoon from 250 feet above Earth’s surface.

The 61st expedition to the International Space Station officially ends on Thursday, when three crew members are slated to return to Earth.
Since September, a group of four astronauts and two cosmonauts has been living on the space station, working together to conduct experiments and replace aging technology. They’ve grown cotton, repaired a cosmic-ray detector on the station’s exterior, and tested remote robotics in space.
On the expedition were: European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano; NASA astronauts Christina Koch,  Andrew Morgan, and Jessica Meir; and Russian cosmonauts Aleksandr Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka. Koch, Parmitano, and Skvortsov are the crew members scheduled to return to Earth, while the others will stay on the ISS for Expedition 62. 
“When you think about your home, you usually think about your house, your neighborhood, and your family. And when you look at this fragile blue ball from outer space, that’s home too. It’s everybody’s home,” Meir told a recent graduating class from her hometown of Caribou, Maine, according to Bangor Daily News.
Here are the most stunning photos from the crew’s four months orbiting Earth.