NASA astronaut Doug Hurley shows off South African cities from space

While it may be some time before any of us are fully able to enjoy the twinkling lights of some of South Africa’s cityscapes in the near future, NASA astronaut Doug Hurley has given us a mid-lockdown fix by posting all-new images of Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria with a birds-eye view at night.

Hurley, the commander of the SpaceX Crew Dragon which launched on May 30, is partaking in what NASA have dubbed ‘SpaceX’ Demo-2, which is designed to test the end-to-end flight and operation of SpaceX’s crew transportation system.

Hurley has been in aboard the International Space Station (ISS) since May 31st, and is set to return planetside in August this year. Hurley has, during his most recent tenure aboard the ISS, taken snapshots of various cities around the world.

As we reported at the time, the launch that sent Hurley to the ISS marked an important first for space travel.

“We’re launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil. We haven’t done this really since 2011, so this is a unique moment in time,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine . “With this launch everybody can look up and say, ’Look, the future is so much brighter than the present.′ And I really hope that this is an inspiration to the world.”

“We’re doing it differently than we’ve ever done it before,” Bridenstine said. “We’re transforming how we do spaceflight in the future.”

With luck, we’ll hopefully find ourselves in a future where commercial space tourism – and views of the Earth, as Hurley has captured – are open to the general public.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!