Douglas H. Wheelock

@Astro_Wheels

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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A farewell salute to our ISS Commander, Alexander ‘Sasha’ Skvortsov, as Tracy and I prepare to enter the crewlock to depress to vacuum. Just minutes from the start of our spacewalk. Senses are heightened at this point. Heart and mind are racing. Chance favors the prepared mind in the vacuum and extreme temperatures of space…

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The night prior to our spacewalk…Tracy and I on oxygen masks starting our pre-breathe protocol, preparing to ‘campout’ in the airlock at reduced pressure (10.2 psi) in oxygen-enriched air (25% oxygen). Just a short time earlier, we heard those exciting words from Mission Control…”Go for EVA”!

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Our first spacewalk is now on Saturday, to allow some time for our procedures and safing steps to mature a bit. The airlock, and our equipment are ready. We’re anxious to get started and get the Space Station back up and running. Here is a glimpse into the airlock with our spacesuits staged. This won’t be easy, but our team is ready…

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Tracy and I in the ‘Quest’ Airlock, preparing our equipment for two very challenging spacewalks scheduled for Friday and Monday. The Space Station had a critical failure last Saturday, and we’ll attempt to bring it back to life. A ‘shout out’ and tremendous thanks to our support team on Earth! “When one voice falls silent…there are hundreds of voices that will begin to sing…”

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Sorry for the delay in tweeting…some excitement aboard the ISS this past weekend and we have been busy getting things under control and stable. Getting ready for at least 2 challenging space walks. Going out armed to the teeth to battle this Pump Module and get the ISS back up and running. More soon…

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‘River of Ice’…there are countless places on the Earth that remind us that the Creator is still working around us…better yet…in spite of us. Here is a look at the stunning landscape of the Coastal Mountains, in British Columbia, Canada . The Silverthrone Glacier through a 400mm lens.

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“…and the dark sacred night…and I think to myself…what a wonderful world…”

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Every moment I get to look out the window at our beautiful planet, my soul just sings!!...”I see skies of blue…and clouds of white…the bright blessed day…”

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Dedicated to my pal Spike.. your ‘hockey stick’ that kept you safe from the 210 amps in that P-6 Solar Array, and me from having to climb out on that boom to get you. It was November 3, 2007… you’ll always by my EV-1!

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Happy Birthday, Spike! Today is a special day, my friend and mentor, Scott Parazynski’s birthday. M.D. / Spacewalker / Olympian / Everest Conqueror / Friend. On November 3, 2007 we met with destiny on the P-6 solar array during our spacewalk, and Scott was the brightest star in that night sky. Rock on, Spike, wherever you are on this glorious day! -Tike

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Russian Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Mikhail Kornienko prepare for their spacewalk in the Russian ‘Docking Compartment’ module (the airlock). In just a few short hours they will ingress these ‘Orlan’ space suits and go for a stroll in the vacuum of space.

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The dreams that we dare to dream really do come true. One day…one glorious day…we will return in peace for all mankind.

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A peaceful view of the Holy Land, without any borders. Israel – Jordan – Lebanon – Syria – Palestine …all framing this shot of the port city of Haifa and east to the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. In the center of the photo, the city of Nazareth.

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Another breathtaking sunset…we get 16 of these each day in Earth orbit, each one a treasured moment. That beautiful thin blue line is what makes our home so special in the cosmos. Space is cool…but, the Earth is a raging explosion of life in a vast sea of darkness.

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Just finishing up the final ‘balancing’ of the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) before installation. Newtonian physics still at work here in space and F=ma still…so glad that ‘a’ is zero here…don’t try this at home!

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Island of Oahu in the State of Hawaii. A few clouds, but you can clearly see the capital city of Honolulu, Diamond Head crater, and Pearl Harbor. Capturing the beauty with a camera is tough, wish my eyelids were shutters and I could tweet those images. Breathtaking beauty…

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View of the Corinthian Channel in Greece, just west of Athens. A relatively new man made channel in an ancient land. The channel connects the Gulf of Corinth to the Aegean Sea.

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Incredible Manicouagan ancient impact crater in north-central Quebec, Canada . Now the site of stunning beauty, crystal clear lakes, breathtaking forest, and abundant life. You can still see the impact scar from space.

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Baikonur Cosmodrome from space! If you look closely, you can see the Soyuz launch pad. The same pad that launched ‘Sputnik’ and Yuri Gagarin…and the pad we launched from nearly a month ago! So surreal flying over at 5 miles per second!

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Beautiful atoll in the South Pacific through a 400mm lens. About 1200 miles south of Honolulu . In the ‘Line Islands’ along ‘Christmas Ridge’, either ‘Teraina’ or ‘Tabuaeran’?

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