Fragile Oasis

Connecting Space and Earth: Learn. Act. Make a Difference.
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The Ultimate Outsider: An Astronaut's Guide

We are at a Pivotal Point in History Imagine that you are on the International Space Station able to look down at our beautiful planet turning slowly below you. Looking at the planet, you see dancing neon curtains of green and red auroras that seem so close you could reach out and touch them. You see the glowing, iridescent, emerald ...Keep Reading

Why I Left NASA

It's been awhile since I've seen any sign of life. As I write this, I am somewhere between Comfort, TX and Fort Stockton on an open stretch of I-10 (I'm not at the wheel) In some respects, I'm en route to a new chapter in my life, but for the most part I'm embarking on a continuation of the call ...Keep Reading

Borders From Space

I have always said, “you can’t see any borders from space.” Apparently I was wrong. On the evening of August 17, 2011, I “flew” to the Cupola, the windowed observatory of the International Space Station, to shoot some photographs for a time-lapse photography project I have been working on for Fragile Oasis. Before beginning the sequence, I took some practice ...Keep Reading

A Poem for Saturday: Halfway to Pluto

Don Pettit Node 2, Deck 5 ISS, LEO I’m halfway to Pluto and Earth doesn’t know The trials of travel in space as we go With thrust to our backs while we speed on our way The blue dot of Earth becomes fainter each day When earthly horizons slip from your view The color of loneliness changes its hue And ...Keep Reading

Join the Orbital Perspective Launch Crew

I am really excited to report that we are fast approaching the official release of The Orbital Perspective – Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles, the book I wanted to write since returning to Earth from my first space mission in 2008. Launching on Space Shuttle Discovery fulfilled a lifelong dream. It also ...Keep Reading

Pilgrims Progress

On September 6, 1620, a ship with her passengers and crew set sail from Plymouth Harbor in England on a 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the "new world," planning to drop anchor where eleven years earlier the explorer Henry Hudson sailed in what is now New York Harbor, at the mouth of the river that bears his name ...Keep Reading

Bangladesh on Seven Summits

It has been a little more than two years since I felt called to embark on this journey - to walk to the highest point of every continent - in an effort to put my nation of Bangladesh and her women in a more positive light in the eyes of the world. Bangladesh in southern Asia from the orbital perspective ...Keep Reading

Innovation is Risky Business

I hear the word innovation constantly. The word is used in advertising, business plans, and countless seminars and conferences. Although there are cases of misuse and overuse for sure, I believe the reason why we hear the word innovation so much is because what is needed at this moment in history is, in fact, innovation. That is, innovation defined as ...Keep Reading

Seeing Earth From Space

We all have moments in our lives where something shifts, clicks into place. For me it was in June of 2008, when I clamped my feet to the end of the robotic Canadarm-2 on the International Space Station. With me firmly attached to the end, the arm was flown through a maneuver that we called the “windshield wiper,” which took ...Keep Reading

#TheKeyIsWe +SocialGood

I launched into space on my last mission with a belief that we have all the resources and all the technology necessary to solve many if not all of the problems facing our world, yet nearly a billion people don’t have access to clean water, countless go to bed hungry every night and many die from completely curable and preventable ...Keep Reading