Complete coverage of Texas wildfires

Texas Wildfire Plumes Spotted by Space Station

By Frank Heinz and Elvira Sakmari
|  Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012  |  Updated 11:37 AM CDT
View Comments (
Astronaut Mike Fossum who hails from Texas said


Astronaut Mike Fossum who hails from Texas said "It is a sad sight" about seeing the plumes from the Texas wildfires from the International Space Station.

Photos and Videos

Bastrop Complex Fire Burns 40 Square Miles

Estimates early Tuesday morning are that the Bastrop County Complex fire has now burned nearly 40 square miles of central Texas.
More Photos and Videos

The International Space Station passed over Texas at 11:07 a.m. Tuesday, giving a first look at the smoke plumes from space.

"It is a sad sight with all the fires burning in Texas right now," said astronaut Mike Fossum who was shooting the video from the ISS. "One very major one and three smaller ones."

Cameras on the space station clearly showed several large plumes near Bastrop and another in the northeast part of the state near Texarkana.

The ISS travels at 17,500 mph, and gave a view of the Texas landscape for about two minutes.

Another view of the fires came from an exterior mounted camera on the left side of the vehicle.

The feed from the ISS returned to Fossum's view from the Cupola, an observatory module of the ISS that has the largest window in space, where the plumes could still be seen as the ISS passed over West Virginia.

Fossum was born in South Dakota but grew up in Texas. He graduated from McAllen High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, and was the first A&M undergraduate to travel to space. He received his Masters of Science degree in physical science from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

The ISS flew over Texas following a track to the northeast from an altitude of 212 nautical miles (243 statute miles above the Earth). 

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
Leave Comments
What's New
Get NBCDFW on Mobile!
Get NBCDFW's free news and weather... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out