Astronaut Journal Entry – To Touch the Stars

Currently, six humans are living and working on the International Space Station, which orbits 250 miles above our planet at 17,500mph. Below you will find a real journal entry, written in space, by NASA astronaut Scott Tingle.

To read more entires from this series, visit our Space Blogs on Tumblr.

This is my last entry into the Captain’s Log. Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and Oleg Artymyev are now in charge after an excellent change of command ceremony where Drew took command of the International Space Station (ISS). We, the crew of the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft, will undock from the International Space Station on Sunday morning (3 June), reenter the earth’s atmosphere and land on the steppe of Kazakhstan. I will be reunited with my family 24 hours later in Houston, and then begin recovery for living on Earth….with gravity….ugh.  

I would like to thank all of you for following along on this incredible adventure, an adventure that started for me many years ago, and a journey that you have supported each step of the way.

To our Lead Flight Director, Gary Horlacher (Houston) and our Lead Payload Operations Director Patricia Patterson (Huntsville) – what an amazing job. Endless hours, minimal sleep, and herding a cast of thousands to establish the priorities that would define success for our Expedition. Thank you for your service, and for your outstanding leadership.

To our incredibly talented team supporting from Mission Control at all of our centers – Houston, Huntsville, Tsukuba, Cologne, and Moscow – you are incredible professionals without which our human spaceflight program could not exist. Thank you for your dedication, service and professionalism.

My life has been driven by dreams and goals. One of my concerns has always been that following my heart to achieve my dreams would have a deep impact on my family and friends. In the Navy, we endured multiple extended deployments onboard aircraft carriers, constant training cycles in locations away from home, and long days and weekends of training and work when we finally had some time at home. 

In the space program, operational requirements demand the same attention and focus. I have moved my family 12 times in 30 years to make myself available for opportunities to serve that I would have otherwise not been afforded. I have always asked myself – is this worth it? I always assumed “yes”, but could not say definitively in the midst of the journey. My journey has brought my family to several new communities where we needed to learn, adjust, adapt and thrive. We are good at it. My family knows what it is like to live on the East Coast, the West Coast, the desert, the Midwest and the South. My family does not consider varying locations or diverse cultures as barriers to their success, but as opportunities to grow and excel. My children are embarking on their own dreams now, with an energy and focus even greater than I had at their age. My family maintains relationships with lifelong friends all over the country, and now the world. My family believes that dreams are attainable, and that the journey towards their dreams is where the value is found. 

I am very lucky that I have lifelong friends that understand what it was that took me away from my childhood home. I am very lucky to have a family that “gets it”. My wife, Raynette, is amazing at being patient, and at making things work amidst unimaginable chaos. I am very proud of my military family for enduring all that they have over the years. Throughout the sacrifice and endurance, they decided to thrive – typical of our country’s incredible military families. My son, Sean Tingle, wrote and produced the song “To Touch the Stars” in honor of our journey that reached another level of success during ISS Expeditions 54 and 55. After hearing this song, I can definitively say, “Yes, it was worth it”.

To my family, friends and colleagues – THANK YOU for a LIFETIME OF INSPIRATION!

Now, it’s time to get busy again – chop chop hubba bubba!

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