Interactive map: NZ and the Pacific from space

By Paul Harper, Cassandra Mason

Photos of Mt Taranaki, NZ's South Island, Auckland and Christchurch taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Photo / Twitter
Photos of Mt Taranaki, NZ's South Island, Auckland and Christchurch taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Photo / Twitter

Very few people will ever have the chance to see New Zealand 370km from space, but thanks to two astronauts returning to Earth today Kiwis won't have to make the journey.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, NASA's Thomas Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko are back on solid ground after five months aboard the International Space Station.

The trio undocked from the station about 11.08am NZT, and fell back to Earth aboard a Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft, landing in Kazakhstan about 2.30pm NZT.

The undocking marked not just the end of Exhibition 35, commanded by the Hadfield, but also five months of amazing photos of our planet taken by Hadfield and his American colleague Marshburn which have been shared on social media by hundreds of thousands of fans.

Among those photos, Hadfield and Marshburn have captured scores of images of our part of the world.

We've taken all their photos taken of New Zealand, the Pacific, and those in Australia we could locate on a map and placed them on an interactive map for you to enjoy.

We have also compiled a gallery of the pair's best photos from the rest of the world.

Since leaving Earth on December 19, Hadfield and Marshburn have attracted a massive following on social media; Marshburn has almost 40,000 followers on Twitter, while Hadfield has a whopping 850,000 followers on Twitter and another 270,000 on Facebook.

Read more about the pair's social media exploits here.

Three men remain on the International Space Station - commander Pavel Vinogradov, Chris Cassidy and Alexander Misurkin.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

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