Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983 for the global space ecosystem, today released a Space4U podcast episode featuring former NASA astronaut CAPT. Frank Culbertson, Jr., USN (Ret.).


Space Foundation Vice President of Communications and Space4U co-host Rich Cooper interviews Culbertson who served as the Commander of the Expedition 3 crew onboard the International Space Station (ISS) for almost four months in 2001 and was the only U.S. citizen not on Earth when the Sept.11, 2001, attacks occurred. He details how he captured impactful photos and video from low Earth orbit of the smoke emanating from ground zero in lower Manhattan as the ISS passed over New York City following the attacks.


“Every story is unique, but this one is out of this world,” said Cooper. “Frank is an integral part of this day in history, and we are humbled and proud to share his unique story with our listeners.”


In this episode, Culbertson recalls his day on the ISS, how he received information about the attacks in bits and pieces as the day unfolded, the loss of his friend Capt. Charles “Chic” Burlingame (pilot of Flight 77 which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon), and how much the world had changed by the time he returned to Earth three months later.


Reflecting back and detailing his memories of taking photos aboard the ISS that morning some 230 miles above the Earth, Culbertson says, “It made it easy to zoom in with the camera and look at what was happening. And as I zoomed in … a big gray blob enveloped southern Manhattan, and … I found out later what I was seeing was the second tower come down.”


Access the free podcast now to hear Culbertson’s full account of Sept. 11, 2001, at


For more information on Frank Culbertson, please visit


About Space Foundation


Space Foundation is a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983, offering a gateway to information, education and collaboration for space exploration and space-inspired industries that define the glo
bal space ecosystem. Driven by a partnership model, Space Foundation operates three divisions that unite the entire spectrum of stakeholders — business, government, education and local communities — through corporate membership, sponsorship, fundraising and grants. Symposium 365 is the premier source for media and events, offering authoritative news and information and venues for networking and conducting business, including the world-renowned Space Symposiumand The Space Report. Center for Innovation and Education is a lifelong learning platform, offering workforce development and economic opportunity for students, teachers, entrepreneurs and professionals. Global Alliance facilitates collaboration around the world for open dialogues and joint programs. Visit Space Foundation at, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.




All brand names and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


Tags: Space Foundation, Space4U podcast, Frank Culbertson, September 11, 2001, 9/11, International Space Station, space ecosystem, space advocate, space exploration


Media Contacts:


Rich Cooper

Vice President, Strategic Communications & Outreach

Space Foundation

(202) 596-0714


Dottie O’Rourke

TECHMarket Communications

(650) 344-1260