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September 12-13, 2012
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Donald R. Pettit (Ph.D.) // NASA ASTRONAUT

NASA astronaut Donald Pettit has called the International Space Station home for a total of 370 days. While there, he’s captured some of the most mind-blowing photos of space – and Earth – we’ve ever seen. Donald gives us an inside look into what it’s like to take photos of space, why bringing 10 DSLRs with him is actually necessary, and the reason why hard drives tend to fail in zero gravity.

Donald Pettit
Donald R. Pettit (Ph.D.)

On his last expedition 30/31 (December 21, 2011 to July 1, 2012) Dr. Pettit launched to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz TMA-03M craft from Kazakhstan. NASA Flight Engineer Don Pettit, Russian Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands docked to the Rassvet module of the station on December 23, 2011 restoring the station's crew complement to six. They continued scientific research and marked a new era of commercial resupply services from the United States by greeting the first SpaceX Dragon spaceship, which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Following a series of tests of its maneuverability and abort systems, the capsule was grappled and berthed to the space station by the crew members of Expedition 31. Dr. Petit landed in Kazakhstan after 193 days in space orbiting the Earth 3,088 times and traveling more than 76 million miles. Dr. Pettit has spent a total of 370 days in space in three flights.