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Indian-American astronaut Raja Chari on 15 August shared a photo of the Indian national flag from the International Space Station (ISS). He also shared images of what his father's hometown Hyderabad looked like from space.

In a twitter post he wrote, “On Indian Independence eve I’m reminded of Indian diaspora that I could see from Space_Station where my immigrant father’s home town of Hyderabad shines bright. 

"NASA is just 1 place Indian Americans make a difference every day. Looking forward to Indian Embassy US celebration," he further wrote.

Raja Chari was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. He served as commander of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the ISS, which launched on November 10, 2021. He served as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station for 177 days in orbit.

During his time on the Space Station he performed two spacewalks and helped in capturing and releasing three SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and two Cygnus cargo vehicles, as per NASA.

Earlier on 13 August, he also congratulated India on 75th year of Independence and also said that NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a long cooperation. He also said that he looks forward working together with India in the near future.

Sharing a 46 seconds video message on Twitter, Chari said, “I am excited to be here virtually to celebrate India's 75th anniversary of Independence. As you may already know, NASA and ISRO have a long history of cooperation, going back to early days of space age when NASA worked with ISRO on sounding rockets in India. The cooperation continues today as we work on joint space and Earth science missions and also shared communication resources to enable ISRO missions that work on Mars and Moon."

“We look forward in the near future to the first human spaceflight mission to be launched by ISRO and to working and cooperating as NASA took to return to Moon as part of Artemis mission," he added.

Apart from Chari, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti too sent a video message from space wishing the country on this special occasion.

The message from Cristoforetti, who is a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and onboard the International Space Station (ISS), also wished success to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on the 'Gaganyaan' programme.

The video was shared by ISRO's official Twitter handle. "Thank you @NASA, @esa, and all the partners of the International Space Station @Space_Station for the wishes on #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav," it said along with Cristoforetti's video message.

The 1-minute 13 seconds long video shows her wearing a red T-shirt as she extends best wishes to the agency.

In it, Cristoforetti said, "On the behalf of ESA, NASA, and all international partners, I would like to wish the best of luck to ISRO as it works on the Gaganyaan programme and gets ready to send humans into space. Expanding our partnership with ISRO and exploring the universe together is a goal for all of us for future space explorations."

She also spoke about NASA and the ISRO's joint Earth-observing mission and added that the International Space Agency is expanding its partnership with ISRO for future space explorations.

The 'Gaganyaan' programme is India's maiden human space mission which is scheduled to take place in 2023.

(With inputs from ANI)

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