NASA Astronaut Victor Glover is making history as the first African American to be selected by NASA to live at the International Space Station (ISS) for a long-duration mission. “… I try to stay away from the bittersweet discussion of being the first Black astronaut assigned to a long-duration mission on the space station,” he told reporters earlier this month, “I want to go do it first, I want to go do my job, and so I think the best thing that I can do, better than anything I could say, is to go do my job and do it well, and then come back and tell people about it. And I think this job, by its very nature, is inspirational and hopefully gives people something to unify around and celebrate together […]” he said. Glover is the 15th African American astronaut to travel to space, out of over 300 astronauts NASA has launched.
Glover served as Commander for the United States Navy and is a Pilot with over 3,000 hours of flying experience on more than 40 different aircraft, 400 carrier landings, and 24 combat missions. “Flying has been such an important part of my professional life and I love to do it. […] 6,400 feet, that’s the highest up I’ve ever been above the ground and so to get to a point beyond that, that’ll be a little special moment,” Glover said during a NASA conference. Besides serving the Navy, Glover worked as a Legislative Fellow in the United States Senate.
He embarked on the adventure of his dreams this month. On November 15, he launched on his first voyage to space aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. A Falcon 9 rocket propelled him and three crewmates to the space station 254-miles above Earth’s surface. The Crew-1 mission is SpaceX’s first operational flight to ISS. Glover is serving as Crew-1 spacecraft pilot. –“’I’m a rookie astronaut, I’m the pilot and going to be learning the ropes from a very experienced crew,” he stated. When he arrived to space into the microgravity environment, Glover was given a golden pin for his uniform from the mission commander NASA Astronaut Michael Hopkins and his Crew-1 friends Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who congratulated him. –“When the engine cut off and we were in orbit, it was surreal…” Glover said, “I’ve seen a ton of pictures, but when I first looked out the window at Earth, it’s hard to describe. There are no words, there are no words to describe it. It was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime feeling,” he said. After a 27-hour voyage, the astronauts arrived to ISS and Dragon docked to the Harmony module.
Glover shared his first video from space aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon on Tuesday. He captured a short clip of Earth’s curvature from the spacecraft’s round window –“the video just doesn’t do it justice,” Glover said as he looked down at Earth with a beautiful smile. In his video, shown below, our planet looks stunning, a light blue sea and white clouds creating mesmerizing art. “Looking at the Earth through the window of Dragon Resilience, the scale of detail and sensory inputs made this a breathtaking perspective!” he wrote via Twitter.
“Welcome to my new home! My first few days on Space Station were a blur. We hit the ground running with maintenance, science, and spacewalk prep. It’s taking me some time to get my bearings, but I finally had a chance to snap some pictures of my new home for the next 6 months,” he said. Glover will work at the orbiting laboratory alongside Expedition 64 astronauts for six months. He will conduct a variety of science research. On Earth, his wife Dionna Odom and four children await his safe return.