Astronauts on board the International Space Station have many tasks, but a consistent favorite is taking photographs of Earth. The ISS astronauts don't just take digital images randomly. The photos they shoot are part of a well-defined program of data collection coordinated through the Crew Earth Observations team at Johnson Space Center. Current research targets include glaciers, deltas, urban areas, coral reefs, megafans (inland deltas), and long-term ecological monitoring sites. Dynamic events such as hurricanes, dust storms, volcanic eruptions, and fires are also imaged when possible.Astronauts also document the growth and change of human-made features, such as cities. The database of astronaut photography is freely accessible via the Internet and has made this book possible. For Chris Hatfield's more than 1,000,000 Twitter followers, you will also find his artful tweets enlivening captions of his images. Complementing his photos are a number of NASA satellite shots captured by various orbital platforms over the last few years. As millions of you know, he was successful beyond anyone's expectations. Pallab Ghosh of BBC News observed that; He has probably become the most famous astronaut since the days of Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin. Couldn't agree more.
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John McQuarrie is an Ottawa-based author and photographer whose major clients have included Coors, Marlboro, McDonnell-Douglas and Lockheed. But his real passion is producing coffee table books. His earlier works focused on the Canadian Air Force from the Second World War to the Gulf War and the Canadian Armed Forces in their role as Peacekeepers. John then turned his camera onto the cattle business and working cowboys. And he is quick to point out that his unfulfilled childhood dream of becoming either a cowboy or a fighter pilot has, in later life, finally been realized vicariously through the lens of his camera.
Chris Hadfield decided to become an astronaut after watching the Apollo moon landing with his family at their cottage on that momentous July day in 1969. He was nine years old, and it was impossible for Canadians to become astronauts. In 2013, he served as Commander of the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting the Earth during a five-month mission. Fulfilling this lifelong dream required intense focus, natural ability and a singular commitment to space exploration. During this mission, Hadfield enthralled novice space enthusiasts with his Twitter feed, offering insight into his life aboard the station. When he launched in 2012 he had 20,000 followers and this list had grown to just under one million by the time he returned to Earth five months later. Like anything this astronaut did, he excelled in photography, taking and sharing stunning images of our home planet - over one hundred of which form the centerpiece of; Earth, Spirit of Place. His celebrity took another leap shortly before returning to Earth, when, with the help of his web-savvy son, Evan, performed and produced a music-video tribute to David Bowie's Space Oddity aboard the Space Station. The video, which was posted on YouTube, garnered more than seven million views within just a few days. It even caught the attention of Bowie, who stated, It's possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created.
General Walt Natynczyk is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He joined the Canadian Forces in 1975 after spending five years as an Air Cadet. He has served in numerous regimental command positions at all levels from tank troop leader up to commanding officer of The Royal Canadian Dragoons. General Natynczyk served as Canada's Chief of Defence Staff from 2 July 2008 to 29 October 2012 and, in August of 2013 assumed the responsibilities of the President of the Canadian Space Agency.
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