On September 11th, 2001 former NASA astronaut Frank Culbertson was the only American who was not on earth. Thirteen years ago when the twin towers were attacked by terrorist Culbertson captured the moment from space using video footage and his camera.
At the time of the attack Culbertson was around 250 miles above earth inside the International Space Station accompanied by two Russian cosmonauts. It was moment he will never forget and even though it was 13 years ago he can still remember like it was yesterday:
“Every orbit we kept trying to see more of what was happening,” Culbertson said. “One of the most startling effects was that within about two orbits, all of the contrails that are normally crisscrossing the United States has disappeared because they had grounded all the airplanes and there was nobody else flying in U.S. airspace — except for one airplane that was leaving a contrail from the central U.S. toward Washington, and that was Air Force One headed back to D.C. with President Bush. It was a very sobering time for us.”