Astronauts Photograph Haiti Quake Aftermath From Space
An Expedition 22 crew member onboard the International Space Station took this image of the 260-year-old city Port-au-Prince on Jan. 18, 2010. This was a few days after the major Haitian earthquake brought devastation to Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, and the surrounding region. The photo was taken with an 800 mm lens setting.
Credit: NASA

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station recently photographed Haiti from orbit in the days following the country?s devastating earthquake.

The images revealed the damage that has occurred in the aftermath of the massive Jan. 12 earthquake that struck near the island nation's capital, Port-au-Prince. The space station flew over the 260-year-old city Jan. 18, giving the station's Expedition 22 crewmembers a chance to snap photos of the hard-hit region.

Taken from the space station 220 miles (354 km) above Earth, the images show some of the destruction, as well as the mighty relief efforts underway. The Toussaint Louverture International Airport, clearly visible on the north side of Port-au-Prince, is the main hub incoming international aid. The photos show the airport's single runway and control tower, which was heavily damaged by the 7.0 magnitude quake, but has since been rebuilt.

The images also show the Port-au-Prince harbor, with clearly visible ships, which has also been a focal point for incoming aid.

A wider view, taken last year, shows the whole island of Hispaniola, which Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic.

The space station is currently home to five spaceflyers: two Russians, two Americans, and one Japanese astronaut. NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams commands the Expedition 22 crew, which also includes Timothy (T.J.) Creamer, also of NASA, Russian cosmonauts Maxim Suraev and Oleg Kotov, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency spaceflyer Soichi Noguchi.

Last week, Noguchi sent condolences from the entire station crew to the Haiti earthquake victims.