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Colonel Terry Virts always knew he wanted to be a pilot or an astronaut. He had pictures of galaxies and planes on his walls as a child. He never thought he could actually become an astronaut

, but he did the things he had to do to qualify. He got a mathematics degree, went into the Air Force, and eventually became a test pilot. In 2000, he was accepted to the astronaut candidate program. I was excited beyond belief. I mean this is my boyhood dream, and I finally made it happen. But the initial training was fun. It was something different every day. As a pilot I had to learn how to fly the space shuttle, for launch and landing, and rendezvous, and all the piloting tasks. Virts received training in medicine, science and the Russian language. And he learned how to repair and maintain the International Space Station. Eventually he was taught how to walk in space. His first trip to space was in 2010, when he piloted the shuttle Endeavor. The first space flight is amazing. First of all, walking out to the space shuttle is an amazing experience. This is a gigantic rocket. I've never been so proud of being an American because I knew that Americans have built that. It was the most amazing flying machine ever built, and I got to fly it as pilot. It was awesome. Four years later, Virts returned to space as flight engineer of the International Space Station, later assuming command. That mission lasted 200 days, during which he conducted three spacewalks, totaling almost 20 hours. There's nothing like spacewalking. It's just a unique experience. You're in this very heavy, very stiff spacesuit that's basically a space ship. It has its own oxygen and carbon dioxide systems, a cooling system, communication, has a jet pack. It's a small spaceship. Except for there's like a one-millimeter-thin plastic glass, and on the other side of that is space. You almost felt like you can see or hear God out there. It's really an awesome experience. Virts said one of his favorite things to do in space is to take photographs. He shared hundreds of pictures of our planet on Twitter. It's just beautiful. And you feel like you're seeing the heavens and earth. Your home planet is over there, and you're over here. It's a surreal, emotional experience, and so the little silly things you watch on the news every night just don't matter. They are just not a big deal. So, from that point of view, your perspective changes. Virts said every astronaut's favorite mission is the next one.

He is waiting his turn to go back to space.

特里?维特兹上校一直梦想成为一名飞行员或一名宇航员。 孩提时代的他就在墙上贴满了银河系及各种飞机的图片。 他从未想过有朝一日自己真的会成为一名宇航员, 但为了能够离梦想更近一步, 他做了许多 事。 他获得了数学学位,加入空军,并且最终成为试飞员。 2000 年,他成为了宇航员候选人项目中的一员。 我兴奋的难以置信。

这是我从小以来的梦想,而现在终于实现。 但最初的训练都真的很有趣。 每天都截然不同。 作为飞行员, 我需要学习怎样驾驶航天飞机, 如何起飞及着陆, 进行会合及所有飞行员任务。 维特兹还接受了医学,科学及俄语的训练。 而且他也掌握了怎样修理及维护国际空间站。 最终他掌握了怎样在太空进行行走。 2010 年的驾驶者奋进号航天飞机任务让他开始了自己的第一次太空之旅。 首次太空旅行真的太棒了。 首先,走出太空舱是一次令人吃惊的经历。 这真是一枚巨型火箭。 身为美国人的我从未如此自豪,因为我知道是美国人建造了它。 这是最为令人吃惊的飞行器,而我能够成为飞行员真的是太棒了。 4 年后,维特兹以国际空间站飞航工程师的身份重返太空,后出任指挥官一职。 那次任务持续了 200 天,在这期间他进行了 3 次总共约 20 小时的太空行走。 没有什么能够像太空行走一样。 这是一次非常特别的经历。 你穿着这件沉重的太空服,它基本上就是一艘太空飞船。 它有自主氧气及二氧化碳,制冷及交流系统,还有喷气发动机组件。 它就是一艘小型太空船。 除了一块 1 毫米厚的塑料玻璃外,另一侧就是浩瀚无垠的太空。 你几乎可以感觉能够看到上帝,听到上帝的声音一样。 这是一次非常精彩的体验。 维特兹表示在太空,他最喜欢做的一件事就是拍照。

他在推特上分享了数百张照片。 这种景象真的非常美丽。 而且你就感觉自己正在看着宇宙一样。

你的地球在那里,而你在这儿。 这就是一次超现实, 纯感官上的经历, 而每晚你在新闻上看到的那些微不足道的蠢事都太过 渺小,不值得一提。 它们根本不算什么。 因此,从这点来看,你的观念正发生改变。 维特兹称每一位宇航员最喜欢的任务就是执行下一项任务。 他正等着自己重返太空的那一天。