The Sunrise From Space – Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires August 27, 2011

The Sunrise From Space – Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires 
August 27, 2011

Update 8/26/11: The Eastern time zone in the U.S. had the most mentions as of the cutoff of 8:00am Friday, August 26, 2011. But, with #Irene a factor along the U.S. east coast, we’ll need a rain (hurricane) check on that! 
GMT-3 was in a close second place. Beginning at 09:28 GMT, Saturday, August 27, 2011, Ron will point his HD camera at the rising sun as the International Space Station flies along a path between Rio de Janeiro in Brazil & Buenos Aires in Argentina. Thank you all for the many, many Tweets! 
Editor’s Note: On Saturday, August 27, 2011, Ron Garan will point an HD camera out a window of the International Space Station Cupolato film one of the sixteen sunrises he sees each day, and then describe it for all of us on Earth.  Which sunrise is up to YOU.
How’s that work?  Simply Retweet the following between now and 8:00am Eastern Time, Friday, August 26th:
@Astro_Ron: Share a sunrise w/ the #ISS #SunSpace
Be sure to include your location or time zone, and the hashtag #SunSpace!
A sunrise in the location/time zone with the most Tweets will be the one Ron films with his HD camera the next day. 
Sometime during the afternoon of the 26th, Ron will Tweet the “winning” location/timezone. On the 27th, Earth bound humans can share the experience of watching the sunrise with him and with each other, then compare notes. Here’s what Ron has to say:

Borders From Space

I have always said, “you can’t see any borders from space.” Apparently I was wrong.
On the evening of August 17, 2011, I “flew” to the Cupola of the International Space Station to shoot some photographs for a time-lapse photography project I have been working on for Fragile Oasis. 
Before beginning the sequence, I took some practice shots to verify camera settings. As I was about to delete them, something caught my eye. In one of the pictures, a very obvious illuminated line snaked across a large landmass for hundreds of miles. 
Initially, I wrote it off as a strange exposure from moonlight reflecting on a river. But, I was intrigued and did some investigating, only to learn this was not a natural reflection at all. Rather, it is a man-made border between India and Pakistan to control passage between the two countries.
Realizing what this picture depicted had a big impact on me. When viewed from space, Earth almost always looks beautiful and peaceful. However, this picture is an example of man-made changes to the landscape in response to a threat, clearly visible from space.  This was a big surprise to me. 
Since the beginning of human spaceflight fifty years ago, astronauts have reflected on how peaceful, beautiful, and fragile the Earth looks from space. These reflections are not clichés that astronauts say because it feels good. It is truly moving to look at the Earth from space.
The point is not that we can look down at the Earth and see a man-made border between India and Pakistan. The point is that we can look down at that same area and feel empathy for the struggles that all people face. We can look down and realize that we are all riding through the Universe together on this spaceship we call Earth, that we are all interconnected, that we are all in this together, that we are all family.
When we look down at the Earth, we are faced with a sobering contradiction. On the one hand we can clearly see the indescribable beauty of the planet we have been given. On the other hand is the unfortunate reality of life on our beautiful planet for a significant portion of its inhabitants.
It saddens me and compels me to action when I realize that we have the resources and technology to overcome almost all of the challenges facing our planet, yet nearly 2 billion people do not have access to clean water, countless go to bed hungry every night, and many die from preventable and curable diseases.
I believe that we live in a world where the possibilities are limited only by our imagination and our will to act.  It is within our power to eliminate the suffering and poverty that exist on our planet. 
The answer is quite simple – just do something.  The challenges of the world are really about how each of us individually responds to them.  In other words, to what extent does humanity, on a person-to-person basis, commit to making a positive difference, no matter how small, or how big?
The vision for Fragile Oasis is to be a vehicle to effect real change. We want to provide a means for people and organizations to collaborate and develop synergy toward overcoming our planet’s challenges. We want to encourage people to make a difference, and we want to help organizations that are striving to make the world a better place reach their goals.
In short, the goal of Fragile Oasis is to help reduce that sobering contradiction that we see when we look at the Earth. We want to assist those that are striving to improve life on Earth so that it is not only visibly beautiful, but life is beautiful for all. 

With Apologies to Guitar Players & Music Lovers Everywhere

Last weekend Sasha, Andrey and I received word that our return to Earth from the International Space Station would be delayed. It was possible that our scheduled September 8th landing would move to October 29th. The delay, regardless of length, was due to a failure during the launch of an unmanned Russian Progress cargo spaceship. Because the rocket that carries the Progress cargo ship to space is the same rocket that carries human crew on Soyuz spacecraft, the next Soyuz launch to the Space Station would be delayed until the cause of the failure was determined and resolved.  Because of this situation, the three of us would need to stay onboard the ISS for a while longer.
When I heard the news of the delay, I knew that this would delay not only my homecoming and post-mission plans, but it would also upset the schedule of many people on our ground control teams all over the world. Many hard earned vacations would need to be canceled, and many additional hours of work would be required to re-plan activities. These “extra innings” of the Expedition 28 mission rapidly became known as “Expedition 28.1.”
I wanted to do something light-hearted to let everyone know that we are all in this together, so I enlisted Mike Fossum to help me make a video poking a little fun at the situation.
Since we made the video, we learned that the delay in our return to Earth may be shorter, and as of now it is possible for a landing as early as mid-September. We also learned that if we are not able to launch the next Space Station crew in time, there is a possibility we may have to leave the ISS unmanned.  This would have serious implications, and we all hope that it does not come to that.
Despite the seriousness of the possibilities, and while we are all in this period of uncertainty, it doesn’t mean we can’t still have a little fun. With apologies to guitar players and music lovers everywhere, I hope you enjoy our little video (featuring, in order of appearance, the Expedition 28 crew of Mike Fossum, Satoshi Furukawa, Andrey Borisenko, Alexander Samokutyaev, Sergei Volkov and Ron Garan).

In the Spirit of Yuri's Night – Thank you #FromSpace

Originally posted at

I accept this (Spirit of Yuri’s Night) award on behalf of everyone who is striving to use space exploration to contribute to the future of humanity on earth and in space, and the people involved with our efforts at Fragile Oasis to use the orbital perspective to help inspire people to make a positive difference on our planet.
[Editor’s note: Ron was honored with the 2011 “Spirit of Yuri’s Night” award by Yuri’s Night, the global celebration of the  history, present, and future of human spaceflight.  Learn more here.]

Join The Fragile Oasis Community: Make A Difference

Ron: “Hi, I just wanted to give you a view of this spaceship that we call Earth – the spaceship that we are all crewmembers of,  on traveling through the Universe. This webcam really doesn’t do the view justice – I’ll try to do this again with an HD camera, but that won’t do it justice either. It’s just incredibly beautiful. I want to tell you a little bit more about it. But, before I do, let me put this webcam back on the computer so I can talk. 
It is very difficult to look at our beautiful Earth from space without being moved in some way. One of the main goals of Fragile Oasis is to share this orbital perspective – to share this view that we are all  in this together –  that we are all interconnected and through this perspective,  inspire people to go out and make a difference – to go out and somehow make life better for those with whom they share this fragile oasis. 
Looking at our beautiful Earth, we are faced with a sobering contradiction. On the one hand, we see this incredibly beautiful fragile oasis. But hidden behind this beautiful view are the unfortunate realities that face many of the inhabitants of our planet. Those that don’t have enough food to eat, clean water to drink, and face poverty and conflict. 
The Fragile Oasis community was established to unite crewmembers on our Spaceship Earth in the common goal of sharing our humanity and improving our world. The purpose of the community is to inspire, recognize, and help each other in our collective quest to make life better on our planet.
I want to encourage everyone to join the Fragile Oasis community of people and organizations that are improving our Fragile Oasis. By becoming part of the Fragile Oasis community, you are acknowledging that you desire to make a positive impact on our world and that you wish to leave it a little better than you found it.
In the Projects section of Fragile Oasis,we have modeled specific challenges that face our world with the life support systems of a spaceship like the International Space Station. That is, systems to provide clean air, water, food, communications, etc. We want to use those categories to not focus on the problems of the world but highlight how the challenges facing our world are being solved by amazing people and organizations. [Editor’s note: the ten project categories are: Community, Communication, Education, Energy, Environment, Food, Health, Peace, Research, Water]
By becoming  a Fragile Oasis Crewmember, you will be able to nominate and vote on projects that you believe are making the world a better place. You can encourage those that you feel are making a difference and receive encouragement from others. You can discover people and organizations with similar goals and interests and get involved with beneficial projects. Above all, you can help inspire others to make a difference.
Once a year, we will present an award to the people or organizations that have made the largest positive impact on the world in the areas of Humanitarian Service, Education, and Peace. 
We will announce the first winners this September, and they will be presented with these medals that have flown onboard the International Space Station. As a Fragile Oasis crewmember, you will be able to help us select those deserving of those awards.
Please help us spread the word about Fragile Oasis and help us to use the orbital perspective to improve life on Earth.” Here’s how to sign up.