The entire NASA family on Earth and NASA’s two astronauts serving aboard the Earth orbiting International Space Station (ISS) salute all our country’s brave veterans on this Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2015.
NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren saluted America’s veterans today with out of this world salutes and beautiful photos of the American flag back dropped by Earth from the stations orbital altitude of 250 miles (400 km) above the planet. See above and below.
“NASA salutes our country’s veterans this Veteran’s Day,” wrote NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a special Veteran’s Day message. Bolden is also a former astronaut and served as Major General in the US Marine Corps.
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The photos by Kelly and Lindgren were taken inside the Cupola, the stations most photogenic spot, and posted to their social media pages and the NASA home page.
“Salute from 250 mi above to all past and present veterans and families. You are my heroes. #VeteransDay #YearInSpace,” tweeted Scott Kelly.
Kelly and Lindgren are members of the current six person Expedition 45 crew which comprises six astronauts and cosmonauts from the US, Russia and Japan.
Kelly is a retired U.S. Navy Captain. Lindgren served in the US Air Force Academy.
“Thanks to our veterans and their families! Your service makes us strong, your sacrifice keeps us free. #VeteransDay,” tweeted Kjell Lindgren.
Kelly also currently serves as space station commander. He is a member of the first ‘1 Year crew’ to serve on the ISS, now more than halfway through. He also recently set the US records for most time in space and longest single space mission.
The ISS just celebrated 15 years of continuous human occupation last week on Nov. 2, 2015 – detailed in my story here.
In his Veteran’s Days tribute, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden posted this photo of NASA astronaut and Navy Veteran John Young saluting the US flag during his walk on the Moon during the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission in April 1972.
“In this image, John Young, astronaut and Navy veteran, salutes the U.S. flag at the Descartes landing site during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA-1). Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, jumps up from the lunar surface as astronaut and Air Force veteran, Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, took this picture.”
“The Lunar Module (LM) “Orion” is on the left. The Lunar Roving Vehicle is parked beside the LM. The object behind Young in the shade of the LM is the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph. Stone Mountain dominates the background in this lunar scene.”
Thank you to all the veterans who serve our country.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and planetary science and human spaceflight news.