Selfies in Space

trimI’m happy to report that yesterday’s spacewalk went off without a hitch, and that American astronauts Barry Wilmore (Commander) and Terry Virts (Flight Engineer) are now safely back inside the International Space Station. The pair completed several tasks during their six-hour spacewalk, including one that is quickly becoming an informal tradition when leaving the ISS: taking a selfie in space. Wilmore, who was conducting his third spacewalk, snapped this selfie, which shows an upside-down Virts reflected in his visor. Meanwhile, an ecstatic Virts, who was conducting his first spacewalk, snapped this selfie. You may recall that German astronaut Alexander Gerst snapped this selfie during his first spacewalk last October, and that American astronaut Reid Wiseman snapped this selfie during the same excursion. These are all really cool images, but, in my humble opinion, none of them can compare with this truly amazing selfie (also featured in the banner overhead), which was taken by Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide during his second spacewalk in September, 2013.

February 26 update: One day after I published this blog post, the New York Times ran an article about a collector who is auctioning off more than 1,000 vintage photographs from the early space age, including, appropriately enough, the very first selfie in space. The image, which can be viewed at this link, was taken by none other than the great Buzz Aldrin, whose incredible life also includes a walk on the moon and a surprisingly decent collaboration with Snoop Dogg.