“The weather was perfectly clear that day. I could easily see New York City - a big black column of smoke coming out of the city, and as I zoomed in with the video camera, I could see this big grey blob enveloping southern Manhattan,” he said to the camera.
What he was describing was the second tower coming down. Apart from the Twin Towers at Ground Zero, The Pentagon was attacked also that day.
Aside from talking about what he saw from space, Culbertson also spoke about how he wishes the attack would not hinder the chances of making the US a place, speaking movingly about talking to a school in the local area.
“It’s important to continue to learn the lessons from this and make sure we are in fact making ourselves a better country as a result of it, not regressing or turning inward or changing into a society we won’t be proud to pass on to our grandchildren or great-grandchildren.”
He also bonded with military veterans about seeing attacks on Afghanistan while floating in space.
Culbertson was commanding the International Space Station with two other Russian space explorers at the time.