New Delhi: As Americans looked back on the September 11th attacks on Tuesday with solemn ceremonies, volunteer service and a tribute by US President Donald Trump, NASA tweeted photos taken from the International Space Station of the smoke rising from New York City, on the day World Trade Center fell.
According to a report in Fortune, NASA Astronaut Frank Culbertson, Commander of the International Space Station during this time, wrote about his experience hearing about the attacks so far from home. “It’s horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point,” Culbertson wrote on Sept. 13, 2001. “The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are. Tears don’t flow the same in space,” Culbertson wrote.
Nearly 3,000 people died in the 2001 attacks when three airplanes were flown into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth airplane crashed in a rural field after passengers and crew attempted to retake it from terrorists who had hijacked the flight.
The attacks were coordinated by the al-Qaeda terrorist network led by Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a May 2011 U.S. military operation.
The official death toll in the attacks on lower Manhattan’s World Trade Center is 2,753, including the missing and presumed dead. Only 1,642 of them, or about 60 percent, have been positively identified.
The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office has worked for 17 years to identify the remaining 1,100 victims. Using advances in DNA extraction techniques over the past five years, it has made five more identifications.