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Astronaut photographs New Zealand from space

Friday 8 Feb 2013 1:27 p.m.

Lake Taupo (Photo: Chris Hadfield)

See the photo gallery

An astronaut living on the International Space Station (ISS) has been taking photos of New Zealand from space.

Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield posts daily photos he is taking from space on his Twitter account and yesterday, as the station’s orbit went over New Zealand, he posted pictures of Auckland, Taupo, Mt Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay.

Last month he posted photos of the Australia floods as seen from space, as well as the parade route for Obama’s inauguration for his 331,000 followers.

The ISS goes around the world every 90 minutes so he has the opportunity to take photos of varied areas each day.

Mr Hadfield seemed to be in awe of New Zealand as he went over it.

“The Taranaki Volcano [sic] looks too perfect to be real,” he tweeted.

“Auckland, New Zealand straddles widely varied geology, in colour and texture.”

But he seemed to think Lake Taupo looked like a dog.

“Lake Taupo, NZ. Somehow reminds me of our Pug, Albert.”

Mr Hadfield also gives followers an insight to his daily life on the ISS, including menial tasks like laundry and toilet cleaning.

“Space Plumber – annual overhaul of the urine hoses, valves and senses,” he tweeted on January 10.

He also connects with his followers – doing live chats from space with the public, with schools and on Thursday he was interviewed by William Shatner – the original Captain Kirk on Star Trek.

Mr Hadfield talked about the risks of living in space.

“It was a risk that I decided to take many years ago. Really to accomplish anything worthwhile in life is to take risk.

“You can’t live a worthwhile life without taking risks.”

He said he can appreciate the magnitude of the experience he is having.

“It’s an enormous wonderful rolling earth below us but all you have to do is flip yourself upside down and the universe is right at your feet.”

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