On Feb. 21, astronaut Anne McClain took the photo above from the International Space Station. She tweeted about it too, saying “”Good morning to our beautiful world, and to all the beautiful people who call it home! #TeamHuman”
McClain is part of Expedition 58/59 and launched to ISS in December 2018. McClain was selected as an astronaut candidate in 2013. She’s a lieutenant colonel in the US Army and has more than 2,000 flight hours in 20 different aircraft.
A 2002 Marshall Scholar, McClain earned a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bath in Bath, England and a Master of Science in International Relations from the University of Bristol in Bristol, England.
McClain has been helping with a number of experiments on board ISS during her time on board the station. On Feb. 27, McClain and David Saint-Jacques partnered up inside Europe’s Columbus lab module for the Vection space perception experiment. The duo wore virtual reality goggles, earplugs and a neck brace to study microgravity’s effect on the vestibular system. They took turns performing a series of tasks documenting perception of motion, orientation, height and depth. Results may improve astronaut training and the design of future space habitats.
The week before, McClain and Saint-Jacques assembled the mission’s custom transfer tools and prepared them for installation on RRM3. The Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) launched to the International Space Station to transfer and store cryogenic fuel in space for the first time.
RRM3 consists of two primary parts: the main payload that houses the fluid, transfer lines and tanks and three external tools mounted on a pedestal. The three tools are the Multi-Function Tool 2, which operates smaller specialized tools to prepare for the fluid transfer, the Cryogen Servicing Tool 2, which uses a hose to connect the tank filled with liquid methane to the empty tank, and the Visual Inspection Poseable Invertebrate Robot 2, which uses a state-of-the-art robotic camera to make sure tools are properly positioned.
Shortly after RRM3’s arrival, the space station’s robotic arm Dextre affixed the main payload to the station. Meanwhile, the pedestal and tools made their way inside for assembly. With assembly complete, Dextre will soon attach the integrated hardware to the payload.
In 2016, McClain was at Space Center Houston for the opening of Independence Plaza, signing autographs for young fans like the one pictured below.