Aboard the International Space Station, that takes 92 minutes to orbit the Earth, an astronaut has taken and posted the first ever Vine video that has roused the social media sharing company toward the final frontier. Reid Wiseman, 38, an astronaut who works for NASA, used the Vine mobile app to create a six second time lapsed video showing a sun that never sets from 386 kilometers, or 240 miles above the Earth, and then shared it with the public in June of 2014. Wiseman launched on May 28, 2014, for a six month mission at the International Space Station in a Russian made Soyuz Capsule with German Alexander Gerst, an astronaut from the European Space Agency, as well as cosmonaut Maxim Suraev. They met up with cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov, who were already on board the orbiting station, as well as Steve Swanson from NASA.
While on Earth, Wiseman has been an active participant on Vine, posting training and work videos while in Russia. Wiseman has also been busy posting beautiful pictures on Twitter of Earth from space, as well as sharing night views of such cities around the world like, Dubai and Chicago. He has also posted some gorgeous pictures of the world’s natural wonders from space, like the Australian Coasts and the volcanic peaks in Chile. It seems as if Wiseman is travelling the same path as crew member Steve Swanson, who was responsible for posting the first ever Instagram pictures from space on April 7 of this year. Swanson had taken and posted a selfie in the Space Stations multi-faceted casement that faces Earth, known as a cupola.
Back in May of 2009, Mike Massimino established NASA’s social media potentiality when he sent a tweet from space. His message was something like this: the launch was super! I am feeling good, enjoying the gorgeous views; the dream since childhood has begun!” Others have since followed Massimino’s example. Last year, astronaut Chris Hadfield from Canada rocketed to fame for tweets and videos he beamed down to Earth from the International Space Station. His most famous video, a performance of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, experienced greater than 22 million views on YouTube. However, this is the first time that Vine, a mobile app that allows users to share videos, has been used in what some still call the final frontier.
Although astronauts are be able to see up to 16 sunrises and sunsets within a single day due to the rotation of the Space Station around the Earth, the view changes dramatically when the Station’s orbit aligns with the night and day terminator line. The line is what the astronauts call the barrier dividing the dark and light surface of the planet. Due to the 23.4 degree axial tilt of the Earth, causing one pole to be constantly pointed towards the sun on one side of its orbit, and the other pole to be pointing in the opposite direction, the terminator line is in a state of constant flux. It is also what gives the Earth its seasons. During the summer solstice, this year on June 21, when the planet is at its full tilt towards the sun, and the Space Stations angle is added to the mix, the Station will manage to avoid the planets shadow, making a view much like the one Wiseman captured in his Vine video and posted online to share with the masses.
Opinion by Korrey Laderoute