NASA Nelson Mandela Tribute: Agency Posts Space Photo of South Africa

Friday, 06 Dec 2013 05:12 PM

By Robin Farmer

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In a tribute to Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who died Thursday, NASA posted online a view of his homeland from the International Space Station.



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Shared on social media, the space salute went out to 5.4 million Twitter followers of NASA and to nearly 2 million of its Google+ followers.

"In honor of the anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who passed away today at the age of 95, here is an image of Cape Town, South Africa, from space," the space agency said Thursday on its Google+ page.

"This photo was taken on May 9, 2013, by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield while living and working aboard the International Space Station. Hadfield tweeted this image and wrote, 'Cape Town, South Africa and the South Atlantic calling to forever.”

Mandela, 95, who led the fight to end nearly 50 years of racial segregation by a white minority government in South Africa, died after a prolonged illness. Mandela was known affectionately in South Africa by his clan name, Madiba.

Apollo Astronaut Buzz Aldrin shared in the wave of tributes from leaders and luminaries across the globe.



Elon Musk, SpaceX's billionaire founder and a native of South Africa, tweeted:



The photo of South Africa is the latest view from the Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar, which will spotlight views of Earth from space daily through Christmas.

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