7 March 2014, 18:43

UK to show shocking footage of 9/11 terror attacks captured from space

UK to show shocking footage of 9/11 terror attacks captured from space

Video footage of the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York which was filmed from space is to be broadcast in full on UK TV for the first time. The footage, in which a huge plume of smoke is seen stretching from the site of the devastated World Trade Centre towers, was captured from the International Space Station by astronaut Frank Culbertson.

When Culbertson was notified that something had occurred in New York, he realized they would be passing over the city soon.

"I zipped around the station until I found a window that would give me a view of New York City and grabbed the nearest camera," he told Space.com last year. "The smoke seemed to have an odd bloom to it at the base of the column that was streaming south of the city. After reading one of the news articles we just received, I believe we were looking at New York around the time of, or shortly after, the collapse of the second tower."

"I didn’t know exactly what was happening, but I knew it was really bad because there was a big cloud of debris covering Manhattan," he went on. "That’s when it really became painful because it was like seeing a wound in the side of your country, your family, your friends."

Despite sitting more than 200 miles above the scene, Culbertson captured the images that have been replicated thousands of times across the media. The footage, which has never been broadcast to the public, will be aired on March 16 as part of a documentary series focusing on the lives of astronauts.

"Not every frame has been seen before, so every frame that was shot on that day is in the show," Tom Brisley, the creative director of the Channel 4 project, told the Guardian.

At one point, Culbertson plays the Taps trumpet call as a tribute to the day’s events. He will also be interviewed throughout the film to explain what it was like to have such a unique view.

Culbertson wrote a letter on September 12, reflecting on the events that took place the previous day.

Executive producer Sally Dixon said: "It's the first time we have had it in that form with Frank talking us through it. If that had been in a movie you'd have gone, 'oh come on, that guy's got a trumpet?'. But reality is stranger than fiction sometimes."

In the Channel 4 film, part of a season of programmes about space which detail the realities of astronauts' lives, he is shown playing the Taps bugle call – which signals the end of the day for US military personnel – on a trumpet in tribute to his friend later that day.

The channel's Live From Space season next week will feature documentaries about astronauts, building up to a two-and-a-half-hour live broadcast from the ISS and Mission Control in Houston, Texas, which will feature a full 90-minute orbit of earth.

Voice of Russia, theguardian.com, RT

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