NASA astronaut Victor Glover shared his first video from space as he and three other astronauts soared above the Earth while traveling to the International Space Station.
Glover is part of the Crew-1 mission that launched aboard the SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, nicknamed ‘Dragon Resilience,’ on November 15.
This is Glover’s first trip to space and in the video shares the excitement – ‘the video doesn’t do it justice,’ Glover says wide-eyed and smiling as he looked down at Earth.
The short clip, shared on Twitter, is just a few seconds long but shows the curve of our planet, the stunning blue sky and thing clouds spread out in the atmosphere.
‘Looking at the Earth through the window of Dragon Resilience,’ Glover wrote in the tweet. ‘The scale of detail and sensory inputs made this a breathtaking perspective!’
Glover fell in love with space when he was in middle school and decades later is living out that dream 250 miles above Earth’s surface.
Crew-1 mission docked with the ISS around 11pm ET Monday, November 16 and emerged from the capsule about two hours after completing necessary checks to ensure the capsule and the ISS had an air-tight seal – and were greeted by the other residence of the ship.
Glover took the 240 mile trip with his commander Michael Hopkins and fellow astronauts Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi from the Japanese space agency, JAXA.
Along with reaching his personal dream, Glover has also hit a milestone in history for being the first black person to live on the orbiting lab for an extended stay – he will call the massive ship home for the next six months.
NASA has sent more than 300 American astronauts into space, but only 14 of them been black, The New York Times reports.
Glover joined NASA’s ranks in 2013 and is a commander in the US Navy, but is now the 14th black astronaut to venture into space.
‘Flying has been such an important part of my professional life and I love to do it,’ Glover said in a NASA video.
‘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.’
It seems Glover is having that special little moment, as he is now 1,161,600 feet above Earth’s surface.
‘I’m a rookie astronaut, I’m the pilot and going to be learning the ropes from a very experienced crew,’ said Glover.
Guin S. Bluford Jr. was the first black astronaut in space, and traveled aboard the Challenger space shuttle in 1983.
Mae Jamison became the first black woman to take the journey in 1992 – neither were aboard the ISS, as it was not built until 1998.
NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps will become the first black woman to board the ISS in 2021.
Epps was set to be the first black astronaut to complete an extended stay on a mission in 2018, but was unexpectedly pulled from her June flight, The Washington Post reports.
NASA announced Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who previously was assigned to Expedition 58/59, has been reassigned to the Expedition 56/57 crew, taking the place of Epps.
The American space agency did not provide an explanation to why there was a crew change, but Epp’s brother pointed to racism.
‘My sister Dr. Jeannette Epps has been fighting against oppressive racism and misogynist in NASA and now they are holding her back and allowing a Caucasian Astronaut to take her place!’ Henry Epps wrote in a Facebook post in 2018.
Although Glover’s adventure is a major milestone in history, he said it is ‘bittersweet.’
Speaking with The Christian Chronicle, he said: ‘I’ve had some amazing colleagues before me that really could have done it, and there are some amazing folks that will go behind me.’
‘I wish it would have already been done, but I try not to draw too much attention to it.’
Glover is married to Dionna Odom, and they have four children.
He was born in Pomona, California and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general engineering from California Polytechnic State University in 1999.
Those closest to Glover refer to him as ‘Ike,’ as a nod to a call sign a former commanding officer gave him that stands for ‘I know everything.’