NASA’s Image of the Day for Jan. 10, 2017 is a doozy.
Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency snapped a photo of North America’s Rocky Mountains from the International Space Station.
When Pesquet shared the photograph on social media, he wrote that “the Rocky mountains are a step too high – even for the clouds to cross.”
A private company succeeded Friday in landing a rocket upright at sea for the first time in history.
SpaceX, which handles cargo launches for the International Space Station, said on its Twitter feed that the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket that had lifted the Dragon cargo capsule to orbit had landed on a floating barge.
The company posted a video of the landing on its Twitter feed.
President Obama congratulated SpaceX in a message posted to his official Twitter feed, as did NASA.
Tim Kopra, a NASA astronaut on board the International Space Station, posted to his Twitter account Friday a photo of the moon. The photo is worthy of a share:
An American astronaut has come home after spending 340 days in space.
Scott Kelly arrived in Houston today aboard a small aircraft after a Russian Soyuz spacecraft brought him and several other crewmembers from the International Space Station back to the planet’s surface yesterday.
The purpose of Kelly’s long stay in space was to examine the impacts of a low gravity environment on human health. NASA used Kelly’s Earth-bound twin brother, Mark Kelly, as a control.
During his American record-breaking stay in space, Kelly posted numerous spectacular images of Earth and space. This one is from this year’s “leap day,” Feb. 29:
Kelly saw 10,944 sunrises and sunsets during his 11-plus months aboard the ISS.
Of course, Kelly’s mission was not all about photography and videography. He also participated in efforts to grow flowers and plants aboard the ISS, an experiment aimed at assessing the viability of producing food while on the way to and from Mars.
During his time in space Kelly’s rate of aging slowed. Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson made that point in a tweet posted Wednesday:
Kelly, 52, has been an astronaut for nearly 20 years and is a veteran of two space shuttle flights and several expeditions to the ISS.
A retired U.S. Navy captain, Kelly is also a highly experienced pilot. According to his official NASA biography, Kelly has flown over 8,000 hours in more than 40 different aircraft. Those included two combat aircraft: the F-14 Tomcat and the F/A-18 Hornet. He has landed an airplane on the deck of an aircraft carrier more than 250 times.
Kelly’s twin brother, Mark Kelly, is also a retired naval officer and former astronaut. Mark Kelly is the husband of former U.S. representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was the victim of an assassination attempt in 2011.
One of the Expedition 36 crew members aboard the International Space Station used a 50mm lens to record this image of a large mass of storm clouds over the Atlantic Ocean near Brazil and the Equator on July 4, 2013. A Russian spacecraft, docked to the orbiting outpost, partially covers a small patch of sunglint on the ocean waters in a break in the clouds. Photo courtesy NASA.