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Six awesome space selfies

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, July 19, 2014, 2:15 PM - Nothing can change the fact that Buzz Aldrin was the second man out the hatch of Apollo 11, not the first.

His colleague, Neil Armstrong, wears that crown in the history books, but Aldrin has since become a tireless advocate for space travel. 

And it seems he can at least claim the rights to the first selfie in space (which he tweeted out on Friday).

He took that shot as part of the two-man crew of Gemini 12, the last Gemini mission and a precursor to Apollo.

First or not, he wasn't the last spaceman to turn the camera on himself. Here are six other pioneers who did the same, with awesome results.

Charles Conrad, Apollo 12, 1969 

Image: Charles Conrad, NASA

This stark, coldly beautiful shot is credited to Charles Conrad, but that's not him taking that sample on the lunar surface. That's his Apollo 12 colleague Alan Bean.

Look deep into Bean's visor, and that's where you'll see Conrad, holding what is presumably the best camera money could buy in 1969.

We're not sure he intended to make a reflected self portrait, but it's an incredible shot, crisp and beautifully composed. We think it qualifies.

Michael Fossum, STS-121, 2006

Image credit: Michael Fossum, NASA

Zooming ahead to 2006, here's a close-up of astronaut Michael Fossum, aboard Space Shuttle Discovery

He's packed a lot into one shot. To the side is his spacewalk companion Piers Sellers, and one of the gold-tinted solar panel arrays of the International Space Station.

And, of course, the two men's co-star, planet earth looms in the background, distorted, but beautiful.

Clayton Anderson, Expedition 15, 2007

Image Credit: Clayton C. Anderson, NASA

This time, it's the space station components that are distorted, and our home planet which looks to be in great shape, in this shot by Clayton C. Anderson, part of Expedition 15 to the International Space Station in 2007.

It's not a perfect curvature. It still looks slightly egg-shaped, due to the curvature of the helmet (is it us, or does it look a bit scratched?).

But it makes our blue planet look warm and inviting, a sharp contrast to the frozen void in which the picture was shot.

Aki Hoshide, Expedition 32, 2012


Image Credit: Aki Hoshide, NASA, JAXA

Japan is home to photography giants Nikon and Canon, so it's only fitting we should have a Japanese astronaut on this list. 

Aki Hoshide is Japan's third astronaut to walk in space, and it was during a 2012 space-jaunt that he took this incredible shot.

This is our favourite. Look at it. The sun is bursting behind that robotic arm behind him, while the rest of the arm, attached to the International Space Station, is visible reflected in his visor. His camera is dead-centre, and the Earth is perfectly framed behind him.

Who says selfies can't be art?

Chris Hadfield, Expedition 34/35, 2013

Image Credit: Chris Hadfield, CSA, NASA

We could decide to only write about Commander Chris Hadfield's space pictures, and it would take us days to get through them all, so we'll focus on just this one.

Hadfield, the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station, became a social media phenomenon thanks to his great photography skills, willingness to dive into twitter, and regular YouTube videos showcasing what basic actions look like in space.

Here's just one: A blurry Hadfield's in-focus face inverted through a weightless water bubble, held together by surface tension.

Of all the ones we've seen so far, this one is probably the most inspired.

Curiosity Rover, Mars, 2012

Image: NASA, JPL-Caltech

You might call this the ultimate selfie: A self-portrait shot on another planet.

NASA's Curiosity rover has been a media darling since touching down on the Red Planet, marking one milestone after another, and this one raised some eyebrows.

Now, it wouldn't be unreasonable to ask "how did NASA get this shot? There's no camera arm!" 

Sadly, it wasn't Elvis. The rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) took 55 high-res images at different angles, and then put them together in a mosaic so that the camera arm doesn't appear at all.

It's a great photography trick, and one for the history books.


DON'T MISS: Not quite a selfie, but still neat: Thunderstorms seen from space:


Meteors attack! Six tales of impacts from above
Spider-nauts and space beer: Six weird space experiments
Six weird things we found on Mars

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