“You can see how vulnerable the planet is from up here,” Gerst told people in his home town of Künelsau, Baden-Württemberg, in a video chat last week. It was a perspective “we want to bring back down with us,” he added.
Greeting from space to my hometown, Künzelsau! pic.twitter.com/5h4I0NG62F— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) September 4, 2014
The video, which had more than 46,000 views on YouTube by Wednesday afternoon, includes images of Eath by day and night as well as a spectacular aurora borealis (northern lights).
Gerst, who has been on the space station since May, is a keen user of social media to inform his followers about his activities on the International Space Station (ISS) and to share photos of the Earth from orbit.
He was able to watch Germany's victory over Argentina in the World Cup Final live with his crewmates on the station and received a few German delicacies on the last European food delivery to astronauts.
A native of Baden-Württemberg, Gerst was selected by the European Space Agency for training in 2009. He has studied all over Germany and in New Zealand and is a former boy scout.
My home: the beautiful Kochertal, between Kocherstetten and Forchtenberg pic.twitter.com/n4Yjq9PKyg— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) September 4, 2014
With a doctorate in natural sciences from the University of Hamburg, Gerst has taken part in a variety of experiments aboard the research station.
Doing this capillary flow experiment in space we discovered several surprising mechanisms of fluid behaviour. pic.twitter.com/YON26147p0— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) September 10, 2014
The aim of all this outreach seems to be to get his fellow Germans and citizens of Earth dreaming about space once again.