An astronaut’s official NASA portrait has gone viral in a big way, making him an overnight internet sensation after he somehow sneaked his two dogs into the pictures.
Leland Melvin is photographed smiling as his two beloved canines, Jake and Scout, snuggle up to him. The picture shows Melvin, 50, sporting his spacesuit with a dog on either side.
After coming across the awesome image, reporter Adam Aton shared it with his Twitter followers, tagging Melvin’s handle @Astro_flow. Twitter users promptly proclaimed Melvin their new favorite astronaut.
1. Engineer and astronaut Leland Melvin snuck his two dogs, Jake and Scout, into his official NASA photo shoot.
2. After fans of the snap started tweeting at Melvin, he shared a bonus photo from when the dogs ‘were behaving’ during the shoot.
3. Missouri reporter Adam Aton stumbled across the photo and tweeted it to Melvin and his followers. It has since been retweeted over 2,000 times.
One user tweeted:
I stopped a meeting today so we could pass this around in awe. So amazing!
You are my favorite astronaut. I’m almost 30 years old. I’m not ashamed of what i am. Thanks for all you do!
Melvin quickly got into the fun himself, sharing another picture in which his dogs “were behaving” during the photo shoot. That one has since been retweeted over 2,000 times so far.
4. But Melvin (posing here with Barack and Michelle Obama) is more than just a Twitter superstar. He is currently the co-chair of a White House Education Task Force to help develop the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education plan.
5. The one-time NFL draft pick, pictured here with Elmo at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, also became the head of NASA Education after he was medically disqualified from returning to space.
6. Melvin confirmed to users on Twitter that he snuck his dogs into the photo shoot. But Jake and Scout are no strangers to the spotlight — they were once featured in a 2010 episode of The Dog Whisperer.
Melvin’s first brush with fame was on the football field. In 1986 NFL Draft, he was chosen by the Detroit Lions as a wide receiver, but was released from the team during training camp after pulling his hamstring.
Once he recovered, Melvin tried his luck that next spring with the Dallas Cowboys, but pulled his hamstring again. His professional football career over, he turned his attention to space.
Melvin started work at NASA in 1989 and was selected as an astronaut in 1998. He flew two missions on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2008 and 2009. He has logged about 10 million miles in space, with 374 orbits around Earth.
Unfortunately, Melvin’s astronaut career came to an abrupt end when he went deaf during a training exercise which required him to perform spacewalks under 25 feet of water.
7. After Melvin’s portrait went viral tweeters were quick to proclaim he was their new favorite astronaut.
8. Melvin has traveled to schools across the country to promote STEM subjects to students and teachers alike.
Though emergency surgery did succeed in partially recovering his hearing, Melvin was medically disqualified from ever flying into space again.
The engineer is now the head of NASA Education and co-chairs a White House Education Task Force which helps develop the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education plan.
Melvin is also the host of Child Genius, a TV show which follows some of the most gifted children in America as they prepare for a national intelligence competition.
Even Melvin’s dogs had already had their time in the spotlight before their most recent taste of Twitter stardom. Jake and Scout appeared in a 2010 episode of The Dog Whisperer when Melvin needed help with the overprotective Jake, who often tried to bite his friend’s hands.
9. The educator, pictured here visiting schoolchildren, is also the host of Child Genius, a show that follows some of the country’s most gifted students as they prepare for a national intelligence competition.
Source: The Daily Mail.
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