When Chris Hadfield revealed the heavens to people across the world by making us feel like we were there with him with his beautiful images and excellent videos he really opened up what the job and duties of an astronaut is. The name astronaut is from the Greek words for “Space Sailor” and the definition of an astronaut is “…a person who is trained to travel in a spacecraft”. It seems pretty straightforward, but as Hadfield, along with many others has proved; they are much more than that. They are our direct eyes and ears into what is out there and more and more they have been revealing every inch of what they are seeing and experiencing to the rest of us who are held ‘captive’ by the gravity of earth (and our fear of heights!)
Wiseman is an American astronaut who goes by the much more interesting call sign of ‘Tonto’. This shows that he has had a quite a similar background to many astronauts such as Hadfield in the aviation business! After a long successful career as a naval aviator and engineer, he beat out over 3,500 applicants to join the ranks of NASA Astronaut in 2009. His strong desire to become an astronaut dawned on him much later in life when he saw a shuttle launch in 2001 but better late than never!
Wiseman’s dream finally became a reality as on 28th May 2014 he began his ascent into space aboard the Soyuz rocket to the Space station as part of Expedition 40/41. And whilst he was here he carried on the mantle of Hadfield and pushed it even further. He took mass amounts of images while in the Space Station of our beautiful blue planet and of life in the space station but he put his own stamp on media in space by also taking vines in Space. Now for anyone not fully up to date with the constant addition of different types of media out there, Vines are not just a woody-stemmed plant associated with grapes but also one of the new ways to share your experiences though short, looping videos. And Wiseman has definitely got into the swing of using Vines!
After Twitter launched Vine in January 2013 it would only be a matter of time before an astronaut took advantage of the quick and easy app to reveal more details of life in space. It was on 6th of June 2014 that Wiseman created the first Vine from space. It was a simple but unusual 6 second video of a condensed 92 minute orbit around the earth in which the Sun never sets! But he didn’t stop there; he continued to use the app to document his time in space, from beautiful time-lapse videos of the Earth to various experiments inside the space station.
So here is a compilation of his best vines from the space station and if you want to look through them all here is the link to the fascinating astronaut’s vine account and his twitter for even more beautiful images from space.
The role of astronauts today is continuously evolving and changing to not only go where we haven’t gone before but to take us along with them!
(Article by Kerry Scullion, Education Support Officer)