Year in Space

Earth Art - Michelangelo ISS-ScottKelly (08-22-15)Those of you who watched President Obama’s State of the Union address last January may remember the President giving a shout-out to astronaut Scott Kelly, who was preparing to embark on a yearlong mission to the International Space Station. As the President explained at the time, the mission will monitor the effects of extended stays in space as part of NASA’s ongoing efforts to send humans to Mars. Conveniently, Scott Kelly has an identical twin brother, Mark Kelly (an experienced astronaut in his own right and husband to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords), who will remain down here on Earth and provide NASA scientists with an excellent control variable. Scott Kelly began his yearlong adventure aboard the International Space Station this past March, and now, more than five months later, it is clear that he has adjusted quite well to living in space. This comes as no surprise to those who are familiar with his temperament, his training, and his previous experience in space. What is surprising (to me at least) is that the former Navy pilot with a degree in Electrical Engineering has developed into quite the artist during his time in space, as evidenced by the growing number of breathtaking photographs that he has captured during his time in orbit. I have taken the liberty of curating some of my favorite photographs in the gallery below (click on any of the images to learn more), but you can view all of Capt. Kelly’s most recent photographs by checking out his publicly accessible Twitter feed at this link. In my humble opinion, his best photograph to date is this incredible shot of Lake Bingni in Tibet (also featured in the banner overhead), which he likened to Michelangelo’s famous fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. (Click here for a side-by-side comparison.) Finally, if you’re interested in viewing other photographs of Earth from space, you can always revisit my recent blog post on astronaut tweets at this link.

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