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Astronaut snaps unreal sunset spacecraft photo

A cargo ship on approach to the space station stars in a gorgeous sunset image that looks like a sci-fi movie still.

Cygnus closes in on the space station.


The Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station on a routine resupply mission on Saturday, but a spectacular image of its approach is anything but ordinary. The photo shows Cygnus floating like a giant bee above a wash of dark blue with pinkish-orange streaks created by the sun setting on Earth below.

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet captured the image on Saturday and NASA shared it on Wednesday as part of its Image of the Day series. Pesquet has a talent for using cameras in space and has sent back images of everything from pyramids in Egypt to mysterious structures in the Russian snow.

Cygnus' cargo included supplies for experiments into crystal growth and cancer-fighting drugs.

The space station crew successfully captured the spacecraft using a robotic arm and spent time this week unloading the 7,600 pounds (3,450 kilograms) of research gear and provisions.