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Holiday calendar: A space farewell to Nelson Mandela

Rick Mastracchio / NASA via Twitter

A picture taken from the International Space Station shows Cape Town, South Africa. NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio shared the image via Twitter on Friday.



The International Space Station's crew is bidding farewell to the late South African leader Nelson Mandela with a clear view of Cape Town from more than 250 miles up.

"From the ISS we say goodbye to Nelson Mandela," NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio wrote in a Twitter update on Friday. When Mandela died on Dec. 5 at the age of 95, NASA tweeted a months-old picture of Cape Town and the South African coast that we featured as that day's offering from the Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar. With Mandela's funeral set for Sunday, this image provides fresh perspective on a key locale in his life. Keep an eye on the Space Advent Calendar for more views of Earth from space — and for still more cosmic holiday goodies, check The Atlantic's Hubble Advent Calendar, Zooniverse's Advent calendar and the Galileo's Pendulum Science Advent Calendar.

Previously on the Space Advent Calendar:


Alan Boyle is NBCNews.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the NBC News Science Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. To keep up with NBCNews.com's stories about science and space, sign up for the Tech & Science newsletter, delivered to your email in-box every weekday. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.