A Photo I Love: Featuring Astronaut Reid Wiseman NPR hears from astronaut Reid Wiseman who was on the space station for four months in 2014. He discusses his photo of Italy at night from space.

A Photo I Love: Featuring Astronaut Reid Wiseman

A Photo I Love: Featuring Astronaut Reid Wiseman

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As astronaut Scott Kelly launches into space Friday for what is a planned year-long mission on the International Space Station, NPR hears from fellow astronaut Reid Wiseman who was on the space station for four months in 2014. He discusses his photo of Italy at night from space.


Today, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly blasted off for a year-long stay aboard the International Space Station. It got us thinking of the view he'll have and the photos he can take. Astronaut Reid Wiseman shared some of his photos with us from his time up there last year. He once tweeted from space (reading) there is never a moment when you look outside and don't immediately reach for a camera. He told us about one of his favorite shots.


REID WISEMAN: At the end of about a month-and-a-half, I was looking ahead at another four months. And I was having the thought, like, wow, this could be a long time. And then I went through a little renaissance around the two to three-month period. And it was a mental thing where I started to just change the way I saw my environment up there. So this curiosity kind of re-awoken me. And by the time I left the space station, I didn't want to go. I really loved watching our Earth be alive. And then we just hit Italy. It was the first time I'd really seen Italy on a clear night. The Italians are so nice. They just outline their whole country with lights. And then, as you start to look hard, in the lower right corner of Sicily, there's a little black area. And in the center of that black area is a tiny, red dot. That's lava in Mount Etna. So there's so many levels in that photo that just make me really love it. Just looking out at the blue of the ocean, the horizon out on the edge, the Earth's atmosphere is so blue and so incredibly thin. You know, there's a different sensation when you look at something with your own eyes. It creates a different picture than you'd ever see through a photograph. My goal was just to present, what is it like. Most people have had that thought at least once in their life of, wow, I wonder what it's like to float around in space. Our Earth is incredibly beautiful. And just having the sensation of floating and getting to see it from above, if I can share that story, then that was a success.

SIEGEL: Astronaut Reid Wiseman talking about a photo he took while in space. You can see some of his shots in an audiovisual series, A Photo I Love, at npr.org/spacepix. That's space P, I, X all together.

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