Smoke from the collapse of the World Trade Center could be seen by astronauts aboard the International Space Station Tuesday from 240 miles above Earth. U.S. Astronaut Frank Culbertson, along with Russian cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Turin, spotted clouds billowing from the collapse of the twin towers as they passed over the northeastern U.S.
?As we went over Maine, we could see New York City and the smoke from the fires,? Culbertson told NASA?s Mission Control Center in Houston. ?Our prayers and thoughts go out to all the people there and everywhere else.
?I hope that the people responsible are caught and brought to justice as soon as possible,? said Culbertson. ?But first, our prayers and condolences to everybody involved.?
It was unclear whether or not the smoke from the plane crash into the Pentagon could also be seen from the space station. Culbertson and the rest of the Expedition Three crew are on a four-month research tour aboard the international station. They are due back on Earth in December.
Security at Cape Canaveral in Florida has been increased due to the terrorist attacks. Increased checks of identification badges are being made at security gates and a helicopter circled the Vehicle Assembly Building on Tuesday. The 52-story building, the third largest (by volume) in the world, is where NASA equips space shuttle orbiters with their external tanks and solid rocket boosters.
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