Photograph of Drew Feustel taking a photograph outside the International Space Station while on a space walk mission.

NASA astronaut Drew Feustel has detailed his love of cars and racing in a new interview with Hot Rod Network, as well as his work photographing racetracks from space. Feustel has shared a number of these images on social media, each providing a unique look at racetracks around the world.

The images were captured from the International Space Station, where Feustel served as commander from June 2018 to October 2018. During the interview, Feustel explained that he would work with mission control ground support teams to coordinate times when he could attempt to capture the images.

German GP at Sachsenring Circuit — MotoGP

Feustel shot the images during his free time in space, where he'd plan ahead to capture the racetracks as the ISS passed overhead. The photography project 'wasn't a trivial thing,' he said during the interview, explaining that he'd have to consider whether the conditions would be clear enough to capture the images and how he would get them.

Feustel said:

The photos were taken in my spare time—nights or weekends, or middle of the night or whenever, basically when I knew I was going to be flying over a track I would plan ahead for the day so that I had some free time to use the 5 minutes that I had to catch a track as I passed overhead, and then get back on with my work—I managed to capture all of them.

German GP at the Hockenheimring — Formula 1

The images were taken using a Nikon D5 camera with an 800mm lens and a 2x converter. Locating the racetracks from space was tricky and, in some cases, didn't pan out:

When I looked out in the lens you could probably fit 30 tracks into the area, I couldn’t see them with the naked eye, usually, but if I pointed the camera in the right place, I could see them through the viewfinder. There were a lot of times where I couldn’t see them, and entirely missed a track because I pointed the camera in the wrong spot.

The ISS's high-speed travel through space — it travels approximately 28,000kph / 17,000mph — compounded the difficulty, giving Feustel less than a minute to capture the racetrack before the window of opportunity closed.

The effort paid off, however, resulting in dozens of images of racetracks located around the world. The public can view Feustel's images on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.