SLASSCOM Ingenuity Awards set to revolutionize Sri Lanka’s innovation space – – The Nation Newspaper

SLASSCOM Ingenuity Awards set to revolutionize Sri Lanka’s innovation space – – The Nation Newspaper

SLASSCOM Ingenuity Awards set to revolutionize Sri Lanka’s innovation space – The Nation Newspaper


via intitle:”Space Nation”

December 11, 2020 at 01:33PM

Lembit Opik Has Become Father For The Second Time

Lembit Opik has revealed he’s become a father for the second time despite both him and his girlfriend, and two other family members, suffering from coronavirus.

The politician-turned-media personality, 55, is celebrating the birth of his daughter Maria with his 36-year-old partner of five years, Sabina Vankova.

He hailed the birth at St Thomas’ Hospital in London last Saturday a ‘silver lining’ in an otherwise tricky year.

Ms. Vankova, a Bulgarian lawyer, tested positive for Covid-19, as did their three-year-old daughter Angelina, and Ms. Vankova’s mother, also named Angelina, 61, who fell critically ill in intensive care.

Ms. Vankova’s infection was of major concern as she was nine months pregnant – but miraculously she gave birth to Maria, who was healthy and weighed just under 8 lbs.

Opik, a former Lib Dem MP who found fame on ITV’s I’m a Celeb said:  ‘Coronavirus has been Hell on Earth for masses of people, including me and my family.

‘Our many dark clouds now have a very special silver lining, for which we are extremely grateful, but this year has had more twists and turns for us than the Isle Of Man GP.’

  • Lembit Opik has revealed that he has become a father for the second time.
  • Former MP has been dating Bulgarian lawyer Sabina Vankova, 36, since 2015.
  • He hailed the birth last Saturday as a ‘silver lining’ in an otherwise tricky year.
Politician turned media star Lembit Opik, 55, and his partner Bulgarian lawyer Sabina Vankova, 36, who Lembit has been dating since 2015, have welcomed their second child together

Opik, a broadcaster, chairman of the parliament of the first space nation Asgardia, and a spokesperson for the Motorcycle Action Group believe he caught the virus while traveling.

He said: ‘I travel a lot. In fact, I was doing 20,000 kilometers a month, going through airports, sitting on aircraft with other people. I actually thought I had Covid in February, possibly picking it up at an international airport.

‘I felt pretty ill for a few days, which was very rare for me. But there was no real testing going on then, and it came and went.

Sabina posted a photograph of a positive pregnancy test on social media alongside a caption that read: ‘Little Angelina will have a brother/sister ⁦@lembitopik’

‘As a family, we all took the basic precautions, wearing masks and washing our hands a lot, and it saw us through.

‘On October 30th, after I went for a swim as I often do, I got home and had a bath. As I got out of the bath, I was incapacitated in a way that stunned me. It felt like I’d suddenly gone from health hero to health zero.

‘I was utterly exhausted, I was sweating, I clearly had a temperature and I was light-headed. I knew it was Covid. I got tested the next day and sure enough, I was positive.’

Opik, a former Lib Dem MP, said: ‘Coronavirus has been Hell on Earth for masses of people, including me and my family

As he shares his home in South London with his family, Opik added: ‘I knew the others had it too. They couldn’t not have it.

‘Sabina was coughing, her mother was coughing. My house was saturated with Covid. Everyone got tested, everyone had it… although Angelina showed no symptoms at all and retained her energy.

‘Her grandmother became so ill that she ended up in an induced coma and on a ventilator in intensive care. She was critically ill.

‘Sabina had to sign release forms so an experimental antibody plasma treatment could be tried….and thankfully that saved her.

‘I got bad and slowly got worse and worse. My oxygen levels were down, and my blood worryingly. My temperature was over 100 degrees day after day. I had a headache lasting 11 days which felt like having razor blades inside my head.

‘Every time I moved, it felt like different parts of my head were being cut open from the inside. I was sweating continuously from fever. I was delirious and hallucinating. I was unable to sleep properly. It was frightening. I lost my energy, my appetite, and my sense of smell and taste which reduced food to just texture.

‘Anything I ate made me cough. I lost 20 percent of my body weight. I lost interest in everything. Everyone I spoke to then, including Nigel Evans the Deputy Speaker, tells me they were really scared for me.

‘Looking back now, I realize I was far worse than I realized. Sabina called 111 quite a few times. My symptoms were so bad at that point that they said ”if you want to come in, we’ll accept you”, but they’d have had to send an ambulance.

Opik found fame appearing on I’m a Celeb in 2011

‘I was afraid I’d end up in the hospital for a long time, but mercifully just managed to avoid being taken in. Even though I don’t tend to take drugs, I took everything I could get. I hoped I’d get better in 10 days, but it took 18.’

Extreme tiredness, a high temperature, and a persistent cough were Ms. Vankova’s main symptoms.

Opik recalled: ‘I couldn’t stop worrying that with me incapacitated, Sabina exhausted and ill, her mother in intensive care…had Sabina gone into labor then, how would she have got to the hospital? That was not the NHS’ responsibility; they are not a taxi service.

‘Also, what would have been the complications for the NHS of birthing a child with an infectious mum who was endlessly coughing, had a fever, and everything that goes with Covid? That was a desperate situation.

‘I was especially concerned for our unborn child, save for the fact that her sister Angelina was showing no symptoms. That made me hope this was a disease for older people.

‘Health professionals told Sabina there wasn’t evidence an unborn child would be harmed by Covid. As with all the mums arriving at St Thomas’s, Sabina was given a Covid test at the hospital. Fortunately, hers was negative. And of course, the hospital took every precaution.

‘I was made to wear full PPE. They are so professional, there’s no opportunity to transmit the disease. However, very shortly after Maria was born by Caesarian Section, another life-threatening situation rapidly developed.

‘For the first 15 minutes, everything was fine with Maria. But then her breathing accelerated – she was breathing too fast. Within two minutes experts were there, which was incredible considering the situation.

‘They started giving her help with breathing. Her oxygen levels were down to 91 percent which sounds good but they needed it above 95 percent. Then they gave her oxygen as well, and I stood there worried about Maria.

‘Nothing else mattered to me, as I knew Sabina was going to be okay. Very quickly, Maria was moved to the Intensive Care Unit for babies on a different floor of the hospital.

‘It was immensely distressing because there was nothing Sabina or I could do except watch. Then she was placed in an incubator, and in the evening her oxygen levels had gone up and they switched the oxygen off, and her carbon dioxide levels had been good all the way through.

‘So her condition had improved so much that overnight she was breathing by herself. Now she’s doing really well. It’s impossible to describe the relief. When Sabina and I first got to hold Maria, it was a hugely emotional moment.’

Despite their understandable worries, the couple was reassured that Maria’s breathing problems were not Covid-related.

As for the potential danger of Maria being handled by and taken home to a family who all recently battled Covid, Opik explained: ‘Ours is now a Covid-free house. We are no longer infectious. We have the after-effects but no symptoms now except fatigue. It’s gone.

‘I’d say I’m 70 percent back to my normal self and I’m starting to work again. I imagine I’m immune now, but we are all sticking tightly to Covid regulations.’

Delighted that his partner and baby daughter returned from the hospital on Tuesday, he added: ‘I’ve been on emotional high alert throughout this, and I am utterly exhausted.

‘Even though I shut down completely for almost a month and I’m now over the disease, I still get a few after-effects and have to lie down for a bit.

‘Exhaustion is a legacy of the disease. I will definitely join the queue for the vaccine when it becomes available because I definitely don’t want to go through that again.’

Source: DailyMail

Thor: Love and Thunder’s Natalie Portman React

Thor: Love and Thunder’s Natalie Portman Reacts to Chris Hemsworth’s Muscle Photo: “I’m Going to Look Like His Little Grandma”

There are a lot of reasons for Marvel fans to be hyped for Thor: Love and Thunder, the new film that will be the fourth main installment in the thunder god’s solo franchise. One of the most buzzworthy things surrounding the film is going to be the return of Natalie Portman‘s Jane Foster, who will be transforming into The Mighty Thor in this new film. Portman has already been candid about her process of training for the film — and it looks like a new social media post from her co-star Chris Hemsworth has only added fuel to the fire. During a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Portman was asked to react to a recent photo posted by Hemsworth, which shows him shirtless and pushing a large tire.

“He’s looking good,” Portman explained. “It’s a lot of pressure. I’m gonna look like his little grandma next to him.”

Portman isn’t the only Love and Thunder star to poke fun at Hemsworth’s workout routine, with Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt previously asking Hemsworth to “stop working out”. In reality, Portman has teased that she’s started to train for her work on the film and that she’s “excited” to bring this new side of Jane to the big screen.

“I can’t tell you that much. I’m really excited,” Portman revealed in an interview in October. “I’m starting to train, to get muscles. If there can be all these female superheroes, the more of them they are, the better it is. I’m trying to think — it’s based on the graphic novel of The Mighty Thor. She’s going through cancer treatment and is a superhero on the side.”

In the comics, Jane becomes Thor in the midst of a breast cancer diagnosis, and the power of Mjolnir helps restore her strength. Jane operated as the Mighty Thor for several years but was ultimately told that continuing to do so would kill her. She made that deadly sacrifice while saving Asgardia from Magog, and was ultimately brought back to life by Thor Odinson and Odin.

“[Taika] would flip through and read that run while he was doing Ragnarok.” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige previously revealed in an interview. “And I think when he agreed to come back and do another Thor, he was like, ‘How do we–?’ This is a very big movie that’ll be folding in a lot of elements. That is a hugely important part of it. He pitched it to us, and we were totally in. We loved it. We’d been in touch with Natalie. She’s part of the MCU family and we put her and Taika together. It took one meeting and she agreed to do it.”

Source: comicbook

Morality, Rights And Responsibilities in Space

As humanity begins to break out into space, the biggest obstacle we must overcome is not gravity or physics. It is ourselves. The outcome of the first Space Race illustrated the truth of this. Using only the technology of the time we were able to fly to the Moon. Yet, having tentatively touched our toes on its dusty surface, we withdrew and began circling our own world for the next 50 years, culturally unable to comprehend that we had stood for a moment on the edge of the universe. The international policies and codes of conduct for space in place today were created in that era when the concepts of colonizing space and utilizing space resources were still in the realm of science fiction. Now, with these prospects becoming increasingly real we have to consider a new approach to human action and interaction in space. In this article, Rick Tumlinson presents his ‘Declaration of the Rights of Humanity in the Universe’, a proposal for guidelines and shared principles for living and working in what is about to become the new reality beyond the boundaries of Earth – an open frontier in space that is owned by no one belongs to everyone and is open to all.

A future mining operation on the Moon, as envisaged by artist James Vaughan, using giant solar mirrors for illuminating a sunless crater.

Today, as we move through the first global catastrophe of the 21st century, we have seen both the best and worst of ourselves. Even as governments failed, science proved right and the people became the frontline heroes of the day. The attack of the coronavirus in fact demonstrates the weakness of top-down control, and a strong argument can be made that it is people themselves, through their own discipline, caring, and mutual support that has done much of the work to save the day. Thus, when I confront the legislative and political barriers to their independent participation in opening the space frontier, I am saddened, appalled, and confused.

Yes, governments made the initial investments in space exploration as part of their Cold War Space Race. But now the children of those times have stepped up into their footprints to take the giant leaps that will transform the future. While some visionary leaders and policymakers work to enable them to succeed, others try to slow them down, and all are stuck trying to re-interpret legal and policy frameworks designed for another era, almost literally trying to drive the future between commas in now obsolete treaties and texts.

Source: ROOM

Extending Human Rights Across The Final Frontier

The conception of outer space as a peaceful, cooperative, and collaborative domain is one that has persisted within the international community over the past half-century. The United Nations (UN) has continuously emphasized that the benefits tied to the exploration and use of outer space must collectively benefit the international community as a whole and not just those countries with space programs. Here, lawyer Jonathan Lim discusses the importance of human rights in space and how the maintenance of space as a peaceful and cooperative domain can be supported by established international law principles and agreements, including the international human rights law (IHRL) framework.

The extension of international human rights into the domain of outer space represents a necessary and foundational measure, conducive to supporting the exponential pace of humanity’s development and presence in outer space, and in reinforcing and maintaining the longstanding recognition of outer space as a “shared international commons” and the “province of all mankind”.

The intersection of human rights and space can be interpreted through two means. Firstly, the use of space technologies and applications to support the realization and maintenance of human rights obligations terrestrially, such as the use of remote sensing and Earth observation satellites for monitoring humanitarian developments in Burma. Secondly, the extension of terrestrial human rights into space, as a means of regulating and guiding human activities in outer space. It is this second intersection which will bear significance in shaping the ethical, moral, and philosophical character of humanity’s advance into space over the coming decades.

Introducing the contemporary IHRL framework into the domain of space gives rise to several noted benefits. First, it provides an agreed standard of norms for assessing and addressing the impact of human activities in space. Second, it facilitates understanding and engagement through shared language and values. Third, it provides an architecture to convene, deliberate, and enforce such standards. Finally, it provides a positive roadmap to guide decision making, and a moral compass necessary for promoting good governance and advancing the notion of inter-generational equity.

Source ROOM

Superconductors – Key To Unlocking High Power

The capabilities of future spacecraft will be driven by the electrical power available for them, but the generation of this power is only one part of the overall challenge facing the advancement of spacecraft capabilities. The question of how this power can be managed and utilized must also be considered. Superconductors have long been regarded as a potential solution to these problems but their need for low temperatures and their relative technological immaturity have prevented their adoption in space. Now, however, high-temperature superconductors (HTS) offer a new compelling alternative, with much higher operating temperatures and an unprecedented level of industrial maturity.

Thruster plume of the SX3 100 kW Steady-State AF-MPD thruster prototype at the Institute of Space Systems, University of Stuttgart.

Traditionally, superconductors have required cooling to extremely low temperatures (<20 K) for their operation. In 1986, a superconducting material at 35 K was discovered, and since 1997, superconductors have been discovered with critical temperatures above 77 K, the boiling point of liquid Nitrogen. Such superconductors are termed ‘high-temperature superconductors’ (HTS), and their ability to operate at such temperatures drastically reduces the challenges and requirements of the cryogenic systems needed to keep them at operational temperatures. Furthermore, HTS has achieved a degree of technological maturity that makes them suitable to become game-changers for space applications.

Space start-up Neutron Star Systems is leading efforts to promote the uptake of superconductor technology within the space industry through the development of superconducting-based subsystems for spacecraft applications. Together with its key partners, the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart and Krisol AG, Neutron Star Systems plans to develop the key enabling technologies needed to unlock high power space missions.

Source: ROOM

This is How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving

The International Space Station will host seven crew members throughout the holiday season, the most ever for the orbiting laboratory in its 20 years of having humans living aboard. The international crew includes NASA astronauts Kate Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi; and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov.

The international crew will take the day off from working on the space station and sit down for a special meal together, as well as calling home to talk with friends, family, and loved ones.
“I’m very happy to be on the space station this year because I get to share American traditions with my international crewmates,” Walker said. She hinted that they may stream some football games, another Thanksgiving tradition. It’s her second Thanksgiving in space; she was also on the space station in November 2010.
The menu includes cornbread dressing, smoked turkey, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Noguchi brought some special Japanese “party food” to share, including curry rice, red bean rice, and some special seafood that a Japanese high school student on Earth prepared for the crew.
The crew also shared their Thanksgiving wishes from space on Wednesday.
“The year 2020 is a tough one, but it’s also the year of Perseverance and the year of Resilience and I really hope every one of you cherishes every moment with your friends and family,” Noguchi said. The names of the Perseverance rover and the SpaceX Crew-1 capsule Resilience, both launched this year, seem even more meaningful to the crew during the pandemic.
For Hopkins, its his second Thanksgiving in space after spending the holiday on the station in 2013.
“For me, Thanksgiving is all about family,” Hopkins said. “This year, I’m spending it with my international family. We all feel very blessed to be up here and we’re very grateful for everything we have.”

Holidays away from Earth

Astronauts have marked the tradition of celebrating holidays in space since the days of the Apollo mission when the Apollo 8 crew famously shared their Christmas Eve message in a live television broadcast in 1968 by taking turns reading from the Book of Genesis in the Bible.
The first Thanksgiving in space was celebrated on November 22, 1973, when Skylab 4 astronauts Gerald P. Carr, Edward G. Gibson, and William R. Pogue each ate two meals at dinnertime, although nothing special was on the menu for the occasion. The three worked on and supported a spacewalk lasting six hours and 33 minutes earlier in the day and missed lunch.
How these holidays are marked and celebrated is up to each individual crew and space veterans tend to share suggestions and ideas with rookies before they go up, NASA astronaut Dr. Andrew Morgan told CNN.
Morgan spent the entirety of the holiday season on the space station in 2019 alongside crewmates Jessica Meir, Christina Koch, Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Skripochka and Luca Parmitano.
It&#39;s not Thanksgiving in space without some handmade turkey decor.
It’s not Thanksgiving in space without some handmade turkey decor.
Although it was a busy time on the space station with multiple spacewalks and experiments on the schedule, the astronauts were able to come together for a special meal that weekend with their international crew members and talk about what Thanksgiving meant to them.
Turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes are on the standard menu for NASA astronauts in space, but they also saved special treats like smoked salmon and cranberry sauce to share with each other. In space, the cranberry sauce perfectly retains the shape of the can it came in. Meir and Koch also made hand turkeys for their table decor.

Out of this world Christmas memories

In the days leading up to the holiday, Morgan and his crew played Christmas music throughout the station and had classic holiday movies playing to create a festive atmosphere. They also used a projector with a recording of a burning yule log to make it look like they had a cozy fireplace on the station, he said.
Given the international nature of their crew, they actually celebrated Christmas twice: Christmas on December 25 and Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7.
Meir showed off her Hannukah socks in the cupola.
Meir showed off her Hannukah socks in the cupola.
Meir is Jewish and marked the passing of Hanukkah on the space station, tweeting pictures of her festive socks, but she also grew up celebrating Christmas as well and joined in the festivities on the station.
If your idea of planning ahead is buying Christmas gifts on Black Friday, it’s very different for astronauts thinking ahead to their space mission if it includes holidays.
Meir, Parmitano, Morgan and Koch (left to right) celebrate Christmas in space -- in matching pajamas.
Meir, Parmitano, Morgan, and Koch (left to right) celebrate Christmas in space — in matching pajamas.
“We had to think about a year or more in advance to make sure we purchased, packed, and kept these gifts a secret the entire time,” Morgan said.
Morgan knew that Parmitano enjoyed a special Russian treat called chocolate cheese, which is essentially a heavy chocolate fudge, so Morgan saved some to include with Parmitano’s present. Morgan also gave every crewmate a harmonica in their stocking so they could have a harmonica band on board.
Together, the crew shared a holiday message and serenaded their mission control centers across the world with one refrain each from John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas” and José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” — all while wearing matching festively striped pajamas.
Morgan was missing his family and thinking about the traditions he would normally share with them. One of his favorites is spending Christmas eve only lit by candlelight. He grew up with this tradition and continues it with his family.
A festive yule log is projected on the space station.
A festive yule log is projected on the space station.
When he woke up on Christmas morning in the space station, all of the lights were turned off in the modules, a normal occurrence while the astronauts are asleep.
But Koch had taken small flashlights and covered them with gold-colored tape to make them look like little burning candles. They were everywhere — in the lab, the crew quarters, the galley where the crew eats.
“When I saw that, I actually got choked up with nostalgia,” Morgan said. “It made me think about missing my family during Christmas, but also just the thoughtfulness of Christina’s gesture. She had paid attention to that little detail and it was extremely meaningful. It’s one of the many memories I cherish from my time on the space station.”

Many happy new years

The space station operates on Greenwich Mean Time to stick to a schedule. The crew witnesses 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets each day as they orbit the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour.
So when it comes time to say “Happy New Year,” the crew has many chances to celebrate. They make calls down to each mission control as the new year arrives in their time zone.
New Year’s is a much bigger holiday than Christmas for the Russian crew, so the entire crew came together to enjoy a large meal and toast to the year ahead.
The crew formed a band to serenade mission control centers around the world.
The crew formed a band to serenade mission control centers around the world.
But the other big tradition involves watching a Russian film, which, when translated essentially means, “The Irony of Fate.” The 1976 Soviet romantic comedy television film has “a little bit of a bizarre plot about a gentleman who becomes so drunk, he ends up in Leningrad and doesn’t know how he got there,” Morgan said.
It’s a cultural phenomenon to watch the movie on New Year’s Eve in Russia, so it is played in the Russian segment to honor the tradition.
“To experience that with our Russian crewmates was extra special,” Morgan said. “That exchange of those traditions and experiencing each others’ holidays and sharing that with each other across an international crew, that will be the thing I take away from that experience. It embodies everything good about international cooperation and sharing traditions across different countries.”

Celebrating in isolation

While the astronauts normally have the ability to send emails, do video conferences, and make phone calls, they get a little more time to do these so they can connect with family during the holidays.
In 2020, it’s also how families and friends are connecting as their social distance to stay safe.
“While it isn’t perfect, we still have a lot to be thankful for,” Morgan said. “We have the technology available to be part of each others’ holiday experiences even though we are far apart, whether that be across states, oceans, or from low-Earth orbit.”
It’s his first Thanksgiving home since 2018. While they usually host astronauts and cosmonauts in Houston who are visiting for training, they can’t do that this year.
Morgan said the key to enjoying this holiday season is similar to how the astronauts celebrate in space: with planning, intention, and thoughtfulness.
Connect with people you haven’t reached out to in a while, be deliberately thoughtful and make small gestures that have a big impact, Morgan said.
Before going to space, he collected photos of his friends and family. In space, he took them to the cupola, where Earth is visible from the space station, and took photos of his loved ones with Earth as a backdrop. It was a simple thing, although it took some planning, but brought joy to his loved ones.
Morgan also shared his wish for the current crew on the space station as well as everyone on Earth.
“As they experience the holidays separated from loved ones, so are the majority of the people on this planet right now,” Morgan said. “But that separation is finite. The crew will return and be reunited, this pandemic will pass and we will all be reunited as human beings.”
Source: CNN

Astronaut Victor Glover’s First Video From Space

NASA astronaut Victor Glover shares his first video from SPACE of him looking through the SpaceX Crew capsule down at Earth

  • Astronaut Victor Glover is one of three members of the Crew-1 mission
  • The team launched to the ISS on November 15 and Glover captured a video of it
  • Glover shared a clip of Earth from the view of the capsule while in space

NASA astronaut Victor Glover shared his first video from space as he and three other astronauts soared above the Earth while traveling to the International Space Station.

Glover is part of the Crew-1 mission that launched aboard the SpaceX‘s Crew Dragon capsule, nicknamed ‘Dragon Resilience,’ on November 15.

This is Glover’s first trip to space and the video shares the excitement – ‘the video doesn’t do it justice,’ Glover says wide-eyed and smiling as he looked down at Earth.

The short clip, shared on Twitter, is just a few seconds long but shows the curve of our planet, the stunning blue sky, and thing clouds spread out in the atmosphere.

‘Looking at the Earth through the window of Dragon Resilience,’ Glover wrote in the tweet. ‘The scale of detail and sensory inputs made this a breathtaking perspective!’

Glover fell in love with space when he was in middle school and decades later is living out that dream 250 miles above Earth’s surface.

Crew-1 mission docked with the ISS around 11 pm ET Monday, November 16, and emerged from the capsule about two hours after completing necessary checks to ensure the capsule and the ISS had an air-tight seal – and were greeted by the other residents of the ship.

Glover took the 240 mile trip with his commander Michael Hopkins and fellow astronauts Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi from the Japanese space agency, JAXA.

Along with reaching his personal dream, Glover has also hit a milestone in history for being the first black person to live on the orbiting lab for an extended stay – he will call the massive ship home for the next six months.


NASA has sent more than 300 American astronauts into space, but only 14 of them been black, The New York Times reports.

Glover joined NASA’s ranks in 2013 and is a commander in the US Navy, but is now the 14th black astronaut to venture into space.

‘Flying has been such an important part of my professional life and I love to do it,’ Glover said in a NASA video.

‘6,400 feet, that’s the highest up I’ve ever been above the ground and so to get to a point beyond that, that’ll be a little special moment.’

It seems Glover is having that special little moment, as he is now 1,161,600 feet above Earth’s surface.

Glover took the 240 mile trip with his commander Michael Hopkins and fellow astronauts Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi from the Japanese space agency, JAXA


Glover joined NASA’s ranks in 2013 and is a commander in the US Navy, but is now the 14th black astronaut to venture into space

‘I’m a rookie astronaut, I’m the pilot and going to be learning the ropes from a very experienced crew,’ said Glover.

Guin S. Bluford Jr. was the first black astronaut in space and traveled aboard the Challenger space shuttle in 1983.

Mae Jamison became the first black woman to take the journey in 1992 – neither were aboard the ISS, as it was not built until 1998.

NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps will become the first black woman to board the ISS in 2021.

Epps was set to be the first black astronaut to complete an extended stay on a mission in 2018, but was unexpectedly pulled from her June flight, The Washington Post reports.

NASA announced Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who previously was assigned to Expedition 58/59, has been reassigned to the Expedition 56/57 crew, taking the place of Epps.

The American space agency did not provide an explanation as to why there was a crew change, but Epp’s brother pointed to racism.

‘My sister Dr. Jeannette Epps has been fighting against oppressive racism and misogynist in NASA and now they are holding her back and allowing a Caucasian Astronaut to take her place!’ Henry Epps wrote in a Facebook post in 2018.

Although Glover’s adventure is a major milestone in history, he said it is ‘bittersweet.’

Speaking with The Christian Chronicle, he said: ‘I’ve had some amazing colleagues before me that really could have done it, and there are some amazing folks that will go behind me.’

‘I wish it would have already been done, but I try not to draw too much attention to it.’

Glover is married to Dionna Odom, and they have four children.

He was born in Pomona, California and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general engineering from California Polytechnic State University in 1999.

Those closest to Glover refer to him as ‘Ike,’ as a nod to a call sign a former commanding officer gave him that stands for ‘I know everything.’