Douglas H. Wheelock


Test Pilot; NASA Astronaut: STS-120 & ISS-25; Space Station Commander; Aspiring Poet; Inspired by quiet moments, kindness and the power of the spoken word.

Photos and Videos by @Astro_Wheels

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Tropical Storm Julia departing the ‘Birthplace of Atlantic Hurricanes’, the Cape Verde Islands, and beginning the relentless journey westward, away from the southern islands of Maio, Sao Tiago, Fogo and Brava. Currently only a tropical storm, but showing tremendous organization and rotation. I think we may hear more from Julia in the coming days…

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You are awesome! Yes!…the mystery location in photo #1 is indeed the breathtaking Banks Peninsula near the picturesque city of Christchurch, New Zealand! Way to go! Okay…this photo was taken with a 1200mm lens of a spectacular mountain…do you know the name of this snow-covered peak? Do you know its unique distinction?

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‘Mystery Location’…do you know where this is on our beautiful planet? Hint: A scenic city just north of this spectacular peninsula. Will tweet the answer within a day or two.

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A view of the Iberian Peninsula, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean, and northern Africa . A special ‘shout out’ to my Ham Radio friends in Spain and Portugal: Fabiano, Paolo and Marco! Looks like a splendid summer afternoon, I am looking forward to our next contact. My very best wishes…

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"This is NA1SS, the International Space Station, over…” Using the Ham Radio in the Russian Service Module, the Command Center of the ISS. Fyodor took this picture of me during another night of great contacts with operators in the U.S., Canada, and across Europe. A fun way to stay ‘connected’ with planet Earth. 73!

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Over the Sahara Desert approaching ancient lands and thousands of years of history. The Nile River flowing through Egypt past the pyramids of Giza up to Cairo in the delta; the Red Sea, Sinai Peninsula, Dead Sea; Jordan River; and the Sea of Galilee are visible, as are the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea and Greece coming over the horizon.

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My 100th Tweet!...Of all the beauty of our planet, I am completely awestruck when I get a chance to watch the dance of Aurora …simply breathtaking… “Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel?... I can only imagine…”

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The Isles of Greece during a clear night pass over Europe. Athens shining brightly along the Mediterranean Sea. A very surreal feeling to view the splendor of this ancient land from outer space.

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Just moments after the previous photo…caught this image of the eye of the storm as we flew over Hurricane Earl just to the east. It looks like magnificent chaos from up here on the Space Station…an incredibly breathtaking sight to see this storm. Many prayers from space going out to those in the path…please stay alert.

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Approaching Hurricane Earl, a little after 5:00pm EDT on Thursday…in the gap between ISS structure you can clearly see the state of Florida, Lake Okeechobee, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Cuba (behind the starboard solar arrays). Looks like a gorgeous summer day in south Florida…such a contrast to what lies just off shore…

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Hurricane Earl is gathering some serious strength. It is incredible what a difference a day makes when you’re dealing with this force of nature. Please keep a watchful eye on this one...not sure if Earl will go quietly into the night like Danielle. Earl – “Go placidly amid the noise and haste…and remember what peace there may be in silence…”

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The ‘Cupola’, attached to the nadir side of the Space Station, gives a panoramic view of our beautiful planet. Fyodor took this picture from the window of the Russian Docking Compartment (Airlock). Here I am in the Cupola preparing a camera for our late evening Hurricane Earl flyover…trying to capture the moment…

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Out over the central Atlantic, just before another spectacular sunset, with the spiral bands of Hurricane Earl visible in the setting sun. An interesting view of the life-giving energy of our sun. The solar arrays on the port side of the Space Station as well as Hurricane Earl…both gathering the last bit of energy before they fall into eclipse.

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‘Aurora Borealis’…We’ve enjoyed the beauty of the Southern Lights over the past several weeks. Now with increased solar activity and as the Summer slowly wanes into Autumn, the Northern Lights are beginning to dance across the skies. The Earth just never ceases to amaze us. Color…Motion…Life…Blessed Days…Sacred Nights…

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With the pump module problem resolved ‘outside’, we were able to power on the laboratories and get back to the business of science ‘inside’. This is the ‘Marangoni Bridge’ fluid physics experiment in the Japanese Lab. Promising discoveries await us in medicine, energy, and computing as we look at the transport of energy in a liquid bridge in micro-gravity.

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At the southern end of South America lies the jewel of Patagonia. The awe-inspiring beauty of rugged mountains, massive glaciers, fjords, and the open sea collide in a breathtaking display. I have dreams of this place and wonder what it would be like to breathe this air. Pure majesty!

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“The City That Never Sleeps”… New York , New York on a clear summer night.

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‘Hurricane Danielle’ – as we passed directly overhead this evening in the central Atlantic. I’m not a tropical storm expert by any means, but Danielle looks very well-organized with a very well-defined eye. The storm looks spectacularly peaceful from this vantage point…but, I can only imagine the tempest below those clouds. Many thoughts and prayers from space for a favorable path.

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An explosion of color, motion, and life painted on the canvas of our wonderful world. This is a section of the Great Barrier Reef off the eastern coast of Australia, captured through a 1200mm lens. I think even the great Impressionists would be awestruck with this natural display.

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The beauty of Italy, on a clear summer night, stretching out into the Mediterranean Sea. You can see many of the beautiful islands lit up and adorning the coastline including Capri, Sicily, and Malta. The city of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius stand out along the coast. Viva Esperia!

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