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Space station astronaut finds unique way to celebrate wedding anniversary

We already know that NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough has an eye for a great photo, so it’s little surprise that on his wedding anniversary this week he used his camera skills to send a special message all the way from the International Space Station (ISS) to spouse Robbie back on terra firma.

The 54-year-old American astronaut arrived at the orbiting outpost 250 miles above Earth in April 2021 after blasting off from Kennedy Space Center aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with three other crew members.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Kimbrough revealed how he was missing his wife on their 30th wedding anniversary, adding, “To help celebrate/honor my true soulmate, I wanted to share a few heart-shaped features I discovered around our stunning planet Earth.”

The unique images (below), all of them captured by Kimbrough while peering out from the space station over the last four months, show striking scenes where land and water have combined to create the familiar symbol of love.

Missing my wife especially today on our 30th wedding anniversary. To help celebrate/honor my true soulmate, I wanted to share a few heart-shaped features I discovered around our stunning planet Earth.

— Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) August 24, 2021

Birthday boy

It’s not just Kimbrough’s wedding anniversary that’s coincided with his stay on the ISS.

In June, the astronaut joined an elite club of earthlings who’ve experienced a birthday in space. His six fellow crew members of course put on a party, though admittedly it wasn’t your usual birthday bash.

Space station crew members celebrating Shane Kimbrough's birthday.
Top center: NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough during his space-based birthday celebrations in June. Thomas Pesquet/ESA


Currently on his second ISS expedition following his first one in 2016, Kimbrough has been earning a reputation aboard the space station for his photography skills, an activity that many astronauts like to enjoy when taking time out from their regular work conducting experiments and performing maintenance work on the satellite.

Below are a couple more of Kimbrough’s images captured from the station in recent weeks …

This is not a photo from Mars, it's Earth! If you haven’t already guessed where this rustic and fiery colored land is, I’ll give you a hint: It’s the Earth's Largest Hot Desert. The Sahara Desert is one of the harshest environments on our planet but it looks awesome from space.

— Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) August 6, 2021

Happy Monday from @Space_Station! Took this pic from Endeavour’s windows and thought it is a good shot to show the terminator line (the line between light and dark). The high beta we were in had us basically flying along the terminator line.

— Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) July 19, 2021

To learn more about everyday life on the space station, check out this collection of insightful videos recorded by the astronauts themselves over the years.

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