NASA Astronaut Pays Tribute To Beirut Blast Victims From The ISS

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The remaining NASA astronaut in space has paid tribute to the victims of the powerful explosions that rocked Beirut, Lebanon last week. The astronaut also posted a photo of the affected area taken from the International Space Station (ISS).

On Tuesday, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, who is living on the ISS, mourned the victims of the Beirut blasts in a touching post on his Twitter account. The devastating explosions destroyed the Port of Beirut on Aug. 4, killing at least 170 people and wounding thousands.  

After Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley left the ISS aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule on Aug. 1, Cassidy became the only NASA astronaut in space. Joining him for the ISS’ latest expedition are the Russian cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoli Ivanishin.

In his tweet, Cassidy addressed everyone who was affected by the tragic incident. He also included a photo taken from space of Beirut and the areas affected by the blasts.

Initial investigations revealed that the explosion that affected the city was caused by the stockpile of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, which was stored in one of the port’s warehouses. The compound, which is commonly used as fertilizer, came from a ship that was impounded by local authorities in 2013.

The public and several government officials cited corruption and incompetence as the main reasons that led to the improper management and storage of the compound. In response to the public outcry, Lebanon Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned from his position on Monday.

Diab announced his resignation through live television broadcast, BBC reported. In his statement, Diab noted that his decision to step down was in response to the demands of the people.

“They knew that we pose a threat to them, and that the success of this government means a real change in this long-ruling class whose corruption has asphyxiated the country,” Diab stated. “Today we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change.”

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