LIVINGSTON, NJ - NASA Astronaut and Captain, USN, RET., Scott J. Kelly, gave a shout out to West Orange from space on Tuesday.
He posted a photo taken in space of West Orange at 3:27 p.m. EDT, to his Facebook page and wrote, “After more than 300 days in space and 15 years, I finally got a picture of my hometown!”
Kelly, who was born on Feb. 21, 1964, graduated from Mountain High School in West Orange in 1982. He then received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College in 1987 and a Master of Science degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1996.
West Orange Mayor Robert D. Parisi, posted the picture to his Facebook page, as did Councilman Victor Cirilo, who wrote, “Thanks for the pic Scott Kelly. I can see my house! Well, almost.”
Since then, Kelly has also posted photos of Himalayas, writing that they look like funnel cakes; a video of the Milky Way; the stars at the stroke of dark “showing stars in their best light,” and a sunset.
On Friday, he wrote, “Got up early to see Perseid meteors but saw something better—my friends in New York and New Jersey.” He posted a photo of the states to his page.
Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are currently serving a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station. The goal is to understand how the human body reacts and adapts to the “harsh environment of space.” Data from the expedition will be used to reduce risks to the health of crewmembers as NASA prepares to advance space travel beyond low Earth orbit.
The space station will be visible in the West Orange area on Aug. 15, at 9:05 p.m., for three minutes, with a visible height of 27 degrees, appearing at 18 above NNW, disappearing at 16 above ENE; also on Sat. at 10:40 p.m., for one minute, with a visible height of 17 degrees, appearing at 10 above NNW, disappearing at 17 above WNW; and on Sunday at 9:48 p.m., for one minute, with a visible height of 76 degrees, appearing at 28 above WNW, disappearing at 76 above W.
Local residents and those living clear across the world have written that they are proud of Kelly and have been commenting on his posts. Some have said that they wave to him on the space station as it passes overhead.
Following the posting of the photo of West Orange, Lois M. Reichert, a resident, wrote, “Greetings from West Orange NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly can you see me waving?”
Later, she wrote, “I post your pictures and progress every day on my West Orange page!!! We love you! Great job. We are very proud of the both of you.”
The West Orange, NJ Facebook page posted,” Hey NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly—we were waving to you from down here! Can't wait for your homecoming after your mission!”
Slavica Vicki Bosnjakovic write, “Thank you for sharing! West Orange is very proud of Scott Kelly! The photos are amazing I can see Turtle Back reservation the golf course and even the streets. Awesome work Scott!”
On the night of the Perseid showers, West Orange Councilwoman Susan McCartney wrote, “Greetings from Earth! West Orange, NJ as a matter of fact, to let you know I made a wish for you and your amazing voyage on two of the Perseid meteor shooting stars I saw. Heading back out again tonight! Best Wishes.”
Fans of Kelly have also posted that they are enjoying his photos from space and are glad he is sharing them.
Linda Mania wrote, “Making NJ proud!!! That's awesome, sir!!! I'm fascinated by your photos and experiences from space...look forward to them every day! Stay safe and blow a kiss to the heavens for us!!”
“Watched you fly over my town earlier this evening - Barrie, ON - love your posts,” wrote Heather Baillie-Brown. “Thank you for taking us to space with you and for paving the way for our next generation of explorers!”
Craig Sachs wrote, “Wow this looks amazing. The time you are spending there is truly expanding what we all know in the arts as well as the obvious science. I am convinced by this photo.”
Joan Eggers-Snover agreed and wrote, “Thanks for all your efforts. My science students have been following you and your brother. We are grateful. Keep up the great work!”
And, Mariela Tragash wrote, “Fascinating images from space. Thank you so much for sharing. Good night Astronaut Kelly from CA.”
Kelly was selected to join NASA in April 1996 and reported to the Johnson Space Center in August of 1996. Following completion of training, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Spacecraft Systems/Operations branch. He is a veteran of three space flights, logging more than 180 days in space.
He served as pilot on STS-103 in 1999 and was the Mission Commander on STS-118 in 2007. Following STS-103, Kelly served as NASA’s Director of Operations in Star City, Russia. He so served as a backup crewmember for ISS Expedition 5 and as the Astronaut Office Space Station Branch Chief. In addition, Kelly also served as a Flight Engineer for ISS Expedition 25 and as the Commander of ISS Expedition 26. He currently serves as the International Space Station Operations Branch Chief within the Astronaut Office.