Astronaut of Puerto Rican heritage tweets photo of ‘beautiful’ island from International Space Station

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NEW YORK (ABC) – For astronauts on board the International Space Station, there are countless magnificent sights below to see as it orbits the earth.

But for NASA’s Joe Acaba, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, he was waiting for the moment that the International Space Station would float over his family’s hurricane-ravaged ancestral homeland — and that moment was finally realized on Saturday.

“Finally a chance to see the beautiful island of Puerto Rico from @Space_Station. Continued thoughts throughout the recovery process,” Acaba, 50, tweeted, along with a pair of photos, referring to the island’s post-Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

During an interview last month with The Associated Press from the International Space Station, Acaba said, “My parents were born there, so a lot of relatives, cousins, godparents [are still in Puerto Rico] I hope everyone’s doing well and that you take care of yourselves.”

Acaba said that he took Puerto Rican flags with him to the International Space Station. “No Puerto Rican can travel without their Puerto Rican flags, so I have my share of those. And pretty soon, the space station’s going to start looking like Puerto Rico with all the flags.”

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