By Peter S. GoodmanThe stunning image of NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson as she landed on the International Space Station has earned the image agency’s top photographer a fan and a lot of praise.
Whitson’s selfie was captured by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, who has since tweeted his admiration for the picture.
The photo, taken on April 6, 2015, was part of a selfie-making session with Whitsontons husband and the commander of Russia’s Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft.
Malenchens selfie took place on a special mission, during which Whitsons husband took her place on the back of the Soyuz as she was being carried on the spacecraft.
Whitsondons husband then took her hand in his own and gave it to her, which Malenchenkians son said was “very nice.”
The photo has since been shared by more than 2.3 million people on social media and has since generated a flurry of interest on social networking sites, with some users comparing it to a scene from a movie.
“I really like the way he’s handling the camera, taking her hand and holding it,” one user wrote.
“The fact that he took her out of the scene, it’s a very touching image,” another user added.
Whiteson is the first U.S. woman to set foot on the space station.
She is the second woman to land on the station, after the first, Commander Don Pettit, who became the first woman to do so on February 12, 2017.
Whitedons husband, Peter Whitsunis, is a NASA astronaut who has been working on a new spaceplane called the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) and is currently scheduled to fly to the station on April 20.
He is scheduled to stay at the station until June 21.