Stunning Space Photos from Astronaut Paolo Nespoli

Pakistan at Night


From Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli: "If I did not get confused, this should be Karachi. Hello Pakistan!" Taken Dec. 30, 2010.

Italy, My Home


From Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli: "Italy at night, 29 December 2010."

Santa, Baby


"We had no milk or cookies, but even here Santa delivered! Merry Christmas from out of this world!" says Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli of ESA (left) a flight engineer during the Expedition 26/27 mission to the International Space Station. At top, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly. Right: NASA astronaut Cady Coleman. Taken Dec. 25, 2010.

Ireland and the United Kingdom


From Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli: "The United Kingdom and Ireland look like a gigantic Christmas tree!" Taken Dec. 24, 2010.

Cairo and the Nile


From Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli: "Cairo and the Nile as seen from up here. Where are the pyramids?!" Taken Dec. 24, 2010.

Naples and a Mt. Vesuvius at Night


Naples and the volcano Vesuvius as seen from International Space Station at night. Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli snapped this photo on Dec. 24, 2010.

The View From Here


The first view out the Soyuz window for Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli on Dec. 17, 2010, two days after launching into space on the Expedition 26/27 mission.

We Made It


Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman give hearty thumbs up signs after reaching the International Space Station. This photo was taken on the station on Dec. 18, 2010, a day after the Soyuz TMA-20 craft carrying the astronauts arrived.

Space Station, Here We Come!


Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli holds up a sign on Dec. 17, 2010 just before his Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft arrives at the International Space Station during the Expedition 26/27 mission.


NASA/Carla Cioffi

The Soyuz TMA-20 rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:09 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 15, 2010 (1:09 a.m., Dec. 16 Kazakhstan time) carrying Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, Expedition 26 Soyuz commander and flight engineer; along with NASA astronaut Catherine (Cady) Coleman and European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli, both flight engineers, to the International Space Station.

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