Astronaut Photograph of the Sochi Olympic Park
13 February 2014

Fig. 1
The Sochi Olympic Park as imaged on aboard the International Space Station

Credit: NASA

The US space agency, NASA, recently published an interesting photo (Fig. 1), of the Sochi Olympic Park at night, taken by an astronaut of the International Space Station (ISS). Interestingly, the Fisht Olympic Stadium and the flame are visible below and right of center. The Olympic Park is one of the venues of the 2014 Winter Olympics, organized in Sochi, Russia, and scheduled for 7-23 February 2014.

The ISS is the largest spacecraft ever flown into space. It is 108.5 m across, and has a mass of about 450 tonnes. It orbits Earth every 92 minutes (almost 16 revolutions per day), at an average speed of 27,600 km/h. Its altitude varies between about 330 km and 410 km. The huge structure of the ISS was assembled in orbit. Its first component, the Zarya module, was launched to orbit, on a Russian Proton rocket, on 20 November 1998. The ISS has been continuously occupied by astronauts, since November 2000.

The ISS is one of the largest building projects ever conducted. It is a cooperation among five major space agencies: NASA, the Russian federal space agency, FKA, the European Space Agency, ESA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, and the Canadian Space Agency, CSA.


Aymen Mohamed Ibrahem
Senior Astronomy Specialist  

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