ISS photo taken from the ground shows two astronauts performing a spacewalk

Incredible photo of the International Space Station taken from the GROUND shows two astronauts performing a spacewalk

  • German photographer Sebastian Voltmer captured spacewalk from the ground
  • Astronauts Raja Chari and Matthias Maurer were on International Space station
  • Spent six hours installing a camera and conducting maintenance and upgrades
  • Voltmer’s image is first ground-based image of two ISS astronauts spacewalking

When it comes to mesmerizing images of space, we’re more accustomed to those taken by astronauts, probes or iconic telescopes such as Hubble.

But a fascinating new picture, which was actually taken by a photographer back on Earth, has captured astronauts performing a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS).

The photo, taken by award-winning German photographer Sebastian Voltmer, is believed to be the first ground-based image of two ISS astronauts spacewalking.

Fascinating: A new picture, which was actually taken by a photographer back on Earth, has captured astronauts performing a spacewalk outside the International Space Station

The photo, taken by award-winning German photographer Sebastian Voltmer, is believed to be the first ground-based image of two ISS astronauts spacewalking

The photo, taken by award-winning German photographer Sebastian Voltmer, is believed to be the first ground-based image of two ISS astronauts spacewalking

He captured American astronaut Raja Chari and German Matthias Maurer while they were carrying out a six-hour spacewalk to install a camera and conduct maintenance and upgrades.

What made it even more fitting was that it was taken from Maurer’s hometown of Sankt Wendel in Germany.

Voltmer, whose astrophotography has been featured in exhibitions at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC and the Carl Zeiss Planetarium in Stuttgart, called the picture a ‘once in a lifetime image’.

Sharing the photo on Twitter last month, he wrote: ‘Yesterday I witnessed the #spacewalk shortly after sunset. Here comes a first photo.

‘#ESA #astronaut Matthias Maurer was just “climbing” at this moment. The rod-shaped structure (Canadarm2) is the robot arm. Greetings from Matthias Maurer’s hometown — it was very exciting. #iss.’

Voltmer said that when he took the photo, he quickly showed German media how he had captured Maurer, and it went viral.

Voltmer captured American astronaut Raja Chari and German Matthias Maurer while they were carrying out a six-hour spacewalk to install a camera and conduct maintenance and upgrades

Voltmer captured American astronaut Raja Chari and German Matthias Maurer while they were carrying out a six-hour spacewalk to install a camera and conduct maintenance and upgrades

What made it even more fitting was that the image was taken from Maurer's hometown of Sankt Wendel in Germany

What made it even more fitting was that the image was taken from Maurer’s hometown of Sankt Wendel in Germany

Although Voltmer's image is believed to be the first ground-based picture of two ISS astronauts spacewalking, in 2011 amateur photographer Ralph Vandebergh did also capture images of American astronaut Steve Bowen during a spacewalk (pictured)

Although Voltmer’s image is believed to be the first ground-based picture of two ISS astronauts spacewalking, in 2011 amateur photographer Ralph Vandebergh did also capture images of American astronaut Steve Bowen during a spacewalk (pictured)

‘This image of the ISS pass was taken on 23 March 2022, under good seeing conditions through my C11 EdgeHD telescope from the hometown of ESA astronaut Dr Matthias Maurer,’ Voltmer told Spaceweather.com.

‘I feel like I just made a once in a lifetime image.

‘It’s probably the first ground-based picture showing two spacewalkers on the ISS at the same time.’

Although Voltmer’s image is believed to be the first ground-based picture of two ISS astronauts spacewalking, in 2011 amateur photographer Ralph Vandebergh did also capture images of American astronaut Steve Bowen during a spacewalk.

Vandebergh was on the Canadarm 2 robotic arm in that image.

Voltmer initially only spotted Maurer in his photo but after taking a bit more time to analyze it, with the help of another well-known photographer Phillip Smith, he saw that Chari was visible too, perched on the Canadarm 2.

Voltmer used a Celestron 11-inch EdgeHD telescope on a GM2000 HPS mount and an ASI290 planetary camera to get the shot.

More of his images can be seen on his Instagram account here.

EXPLAINED: THE $100 BILLION INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SITS 250 MILES ABOVE THE EARTH

The International Space Station (ISS) is a $100 billion (£80 billion) science and engineering laboratory that orbits 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.

It has been permanently staffed by rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts since November 2000.

Crews have come mainly from the US and Russia, but the Japanese space agency JAXA and European space agency ESA have also sent astronauts.

The International Space Station has been continuously occupied for more than 20 years and has been expanded with multiple new modules added and upgrades to systems

The International Space Station has been continuously occupied for more than 20 years and has been expanded with multiple new modules added and upgrades to systems

Research conducted aboard the ISS often requires one or more of the unusual conditions present in low Earth orbit, such as low-gravity or oxygen.

ISS studies have investigated human research, space medicine, life sciences, physical sciences, astronomy and meteorology.

The US space agency, NASA, spends about $3 billion (£2.4 billion) a year on the space station program, with the remaining funding coming from international partners, including Europe, Russia and Japan.

So far 244 individuals from 19 countries have visited the station, and among them eight private citizens who spent up to $50 million for their visit.

There is an ongoing debate about the future of the station beyond 2025, when it is thought some of the original structure will reach ‘end of life’.

Russia, a major partner in the station, plans to launch its own orbital platform around then, with Axiom Space, a private firm, planning to send its own modules for purely commercial use to the station at the same time.

NASA, ESA, JAXA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are working together to build a space station in orbit around the moon, and Russia and China are working on a similar project, that would also include a base on the surface.

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