The magazine of the photo-essay
November 2018 back issue
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Terry Virts
View from Above
Few people get the experience of seeing the world from outer space--and no one has taken as many pictures of Earth from above as Terry Virts. Celebrated NASA astronaut, pilot of the space shuttle, crew member on Soyuz, and commander of the International Space Station, Virts has spent more than 200 days in space--and very few of those days went by without his reaching for his camera. Now as never before, Virts shares the astronaut's view of the world, offering astounding aerial views of our planet and the vastness that surrounds it.
The final moments of my last spacewalk. I was enjoying one of the most memorable views of my mission while hanging by my fingertips from the airlock hatch.
Clouds swirl over the Nyuksensky District of western Russia.
Flying feels more at home for me than being on solid ground. Sometimes I’ll snap a selfie from the pilot’s seat-the view’s not bad from here!
A three-year-old me on the wing of a Piper Cherokee in 1971. I knew I wanted to be an astronaut as a kindergartner and happily posed in front of any airplane I could pretend to pilot.
Taking photos from the space station’s Cupola was my favorite thing to do in space.
It takes careful attention and a lot of Velcro and Ziploc bags to keep track of things in zero gravity. I once lost track of a flashlight and eventually found it inside my shirt, between my shoulder blades.
The striking turquoise of the Bahamas stands out amid more muted ocean shades. These aquamarine waters were even visible on moonlit nights.
Clouds swirl in a storm over the North Pacific. This spiral pattern is one that we see a lot in nature.
A crescent moon. One of the experiments I performed in space was appropriately named “Moon”—I took a series of photographs of the moon to calibrate navigation sensors on NASA’s Orion capsule.
Looking up at Earth with all seven Cupola window shutters open. Despite the orientation of this photo, the Cupola is actually on the bottom of the space station, which can often be disorienting, because the Earth is “up” and the stars are “down.”
One of my absolute favorite pictures I took in space— the aurora borealis over the U.K. The northern lights were always in the distance while the southern lights were usually much closer to our orbit.
Cotton ball clouds dot farm fields in central Brazil.
New York City and Long Island ablaze at night, with Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., to the left. The concentration of city lights on Earth was an indication not just of population but of wealth. By night, most of Africa, even heavily populated regions, lay in dark
When I heard that Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek’s Spock, had passed away, I wanted to make a tribute to him. I took a photo of the Vulcan salute and posted it to Twitter, unaware that Boston (Nimoy’s hometown) was in the background.
I was the last person out of our Soyuz capsule. My body recovered quickly from more than half a year of zero gravity, but on that first day back on Earth, I felt very dizzy.
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