NASA has released an image of a typhoon forming over the South Pacific Ocean on May 13, as viewed from the International Space Station (ISS). The image was snapped from the astronauts aboard the orbiting laboratory and shows a major typhoon, which would have been near to the Philippines.
The powerful photograph shows the storm brewing, with the eye of the typhoon beginning to form.
Analysis from the space agency revealed the clouds atop of the typhoon are cold, which indicate strong storms with the potential to generate heavy rainfall.
Satellite data also revealed how wind speeds were exceeding 130 kilometres per hour, with NASA saying: “Typhoons and hurricanes are the most powerful weather events on Earth”.
NASA said of the image: “The crew of the International Space Station snapped this image of a typhoon in the South Pacific Ocean on May 13, 2020.
“NASA Earth-observing satellites track hurricanes and other tropical storms wherever they occur on the planet.”
Even NASA has been affected by the COVID-19, with the space agency having to put a halt to proceedings as the US, the country worst affected by coronavirus, comes to a standstill.
NASA has had to suspend work on its Moon mission in light of the pandemic, after an employee at the Stennis Space Center in New Orleans, where it is testing the SLS rockets which will eventually go to the Moon, came down with coronavirus.
NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said: “The change at Stennis was made due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the community around the centre, the number of self-isolation cases within our workforce there, and one confirmed case among our Stennis team.
“NASA will temporarily suspend production and testing of Space Launch System and Orion hardware.
“The NASA and contractors teams will complete an orderly shutdown that puts all hardware in a safe condition until work can resume.”
However, the aim is still to send humans back to the Moon in 2024, where the first returning astronauts since 1972 will be tasked with establishing a lunar base.
Mr Bridenstine made the announcement that he wants to set up a lunar colony and called on “the best and brightest of American industry to help design and develop “human lunar landers”.
The base would be used as a checkpoint between Earth and Mars while also allowing astronauts to study the Moon in close detail.
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