Space Shuttle Atlantis Meets Canary Islands in Photo

The space shuttle Atlantis got a close-up Sunday whileflying 220 miles above the Canary Islands in a postcard-like snapshottaken by an astronaut just before the orbiter arrived at the InternationalSpace Station.

In the new shuttle photo, Atlantis hovers on the leftside of the frame while one of the Canary Islands off the northwest coast ofAfrica dominates the right half. The result: An image that has the feeling ofan adventure travel advertisement, though to which destination ?? the Atlanticarchipelago or low-Earth orbit ? could be up grabs.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.