Scott Kelly is a former NASA astronaut who commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on Expedition 26,45 and 46. On March 27, 2015, Mr Kelly launched in Soyuz TMA-16M in what marked the beginning of a year in space. He detailed his journey on social media, posting regular updates.
However, one photo he snapped aboard the ISS received more attention than the rest.
On November 15, Mr Kelly tweeted a photo of India from outer space, captioned: “Day 233. Once upon a #star over Southern India #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace.”
At first glance, the photo appeared to simply show the South Asian country lit up during the night.
However, space boffins were quick to notice a small, white object in the top right of the snap, that appeared out of place.
One reply read: “What is that in the upper right corner?”
Another added: “What is that in the TOP RIGHT-HAND CORNER?!”
A third questioned: “Is that a UFO on the top of the frame?”
And a four flat-out claimed: “Great shot of a UFO Scott.”
However, these theories were quickly debunked, with some revealing the “UFO” is actually part of the space station.
The High Definition Earth-Viewing System, mounted on the exterior of the European Space Agency’s Columbus module and resembles a similar shape to that in the photo.
The HDEV includes several HD cameras enclosed in two temperature-controlled canisters that are covered in reflective material.
Today marks 31 years since the first “human satellite” was launched.
On February 7, 1984, Bruce McCandless became the first human to fly untethered in space when he exited the US space shuttle Challenger and manoeuvred using a rocket backpack.
McCandless orbited Earth in tangent with the shuttle at speeds greater than 17,500 miles per hour and flew up to 320 feet away from the Challenger.
After an hour and a half testing and flying the jet-powered backpack and admiring Earth, McCandless safely reentered the shuttle.