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Expedition 41 poses for “selfie” before returning to Earth

Space_Station_selfie Expedition 41 crew NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Expedition 41 crew members take a break from training at NASA's Johnson Space Center to pose for a crew portrait. Pictured on the front row are Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev (left), commander; and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, flight engineer. Pictured from the left (back row) are NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova, all flight engineers. Photo Credit: NASA

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover has its own selfie snapped on the Red Planet. The same can be said for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta probe photographs itself with Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. So having the six-person crew onboard the International Space Station follow suit should not come as a surprise. In the image above, the Expedition 41 crew, decked out in the latest space apparel, smile for the camera they prepare for three of their number to return to Earth.

“The International Space Station Expedition 41 crew. My favorite selfie in space!” German astronaut Alexander Gerst commented on the picture.

Gerst’s favorite is just one of many out-of-this-world self-snaps. Astronauts are known for the iconic photos they take when spacewalking outside the station. NASA’s Mike Hopkins took another selfie on Christmas Eve of 2013. He took the self portrait while performing repairs to the orbiting laboratory.

“Wow…can’t believe that is me yesterday. Wish I could find the words to describe the experience, truly amazing,” Hopkins said.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, used a digital still camera to capture a photo of his helmet visor when performing a spacewalk on Aug. 18, 2014. The extravehicular activity (EVA) was conducted to deploy a small science satellite, retrieve and install experiment packages and inspect components on the exterior of the orbital laboratory.

International Space Station ISS Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA astronaut  Akihiko Hoshide NASA image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide takes a selfie after completing work on the exterior of the International Space Station. Photo Credit: Akihiko Hoshide / JAXA / NASA

In September 2012, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide snapped an image of himself against a backdrop of empty space. The shot has been referred to as, “the best selfie ever.”

“Visible in this outworldly assemblage is the Sun, the Earth, two portions of a robotic arm, an astronaut’s spacesuit, the deep darkness of space, and the unusual camera taking the picture,” NASA wrote about the pic.

The art of taking a decent space selfie is not as easy as it seems. Earlier this year, in April, NASA astronaut Steve Swanson snapped a pic of himself using Earth as his backdrop. His colleague, Rick Mastracchio, then shared the selfie on Twitter.

“The space suit makes it very difficult to get a good selfie,” Mastracchio said on Twitter. “I tried several today.”

When not taking selfies, the current ISS crew is conducting scientific research. NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore worked throughout Tuesday inside Japan’s Kibo laboratory to remove a CubSsat deployer from the laboratory’s airlock. The deployer experienced problems in August, when some of the mini satellites did not deploy as expected and later deployed spontaneously. Wilmore’s crewmates Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev worked throughout the day on maintenance and a variety of Russian physical and medical science experiments.

Soyuz Commander Max Suraev along with Flight Engineers Alexander Gerst and Reid Wiseman are slated to return to Earth on Nov. 9, The trio is currently in the process of packing their gear for the journey home.

Meanwhile, the new Expedition 42/43 crew is getting ready for its launch to the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. That aucnh is currently slated to take place on Nov. 23. Russian Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov will be joined by NASA astronaut Terry Virts and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti aboard the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft.


This article originally appeared on Astro Watch and can be viewed here: Selfie

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Tomasz Nowakowski is the owner of Astro Watch, one of the premier astronomy and science-related blogs on the internet. Nowakowski reached out to SpaceFlight Insider in an effort to have the two space-related websites collaborate. Nowakowski's generous offer was gratefully received with the two organizations now working to better relay important developments as they pertain to space exploration.

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