- NASA astronaut Anne McClain is training to fly to the International Space Station in November.
- McClain brought her son to a NASA portrait session featuring a spacesuit.
- Her son hammed it up for the camera, leading to some adorable official photos.
- McClain tweeted the photos partly in support of other moms who struggle to find a work-life balance.
Before NASA’s talented astronauts launch into space, they pose for an official photo shoot.
Most astronauts play it safe. They hop inside of a spacesuit, smile for the camera, then get back to their rigorous training. Some, however, choose to bring family, friends, and even pets along for the fun.
During an August 2017 portrait session by NASA, Anne C. McClain — a member of the 21st astronaut class, a decorated US Army Major, an attack helicopter pilot, an aerospace engineer, and a mother — brought her young son.
“The hardest part about training for space is the 4 yr old I have to leave behind every time I walk out the door,” McClain tweeted on Sunday, responding to soccer player and fellow mom Abby Wambach, who was seeking support in maintaining a work-life balance.
“I try to remember he will grow up and know what it looks like, behind the scenes, to pursue a dream. He is my ‘why.'”
On Tuesday, McClain (who is preparing to fly to the International Space Station in November) posted photos of herself in a spacesuit next to her young son. A representative at NASA’s Johnson Space Center told Business Insider that the pictures were taken by photographer Bill Stafford.
Here are the heartwarming images McClain shared, and what her son thinks it’s like to have a mom who’s an astronaut.
“[S]ometimes, I bring him to work with me. Not sure who enjoys it more!” McClain said on Tuesday while sharing this image.
When a Twitter user asked McClain what’s more difficult — staying or going — she responded: “No easy answer there.”
“One provides immediate comfort, the other achieves not only life long goals but also teaches life long lessons. Gotta play the long game here,” she added. “But it doesn’t make missing out on waffles with the kiddo in the morning any easier. Most parents can relate.”
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