by Jackson Sveen

DAVIDSON – NASA Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn may be more than one million feet away from Earth, but he isn’t too far away to be socially connected.

Marshburn, who launched from Kazakhstan for the International Space Station on Dec. 19, has been taking time to share his view of Earth with his Twitter followers.

The crew in the International Space Station circle the Earth about 15 times a day, so they get to see the planet in a way that most of us only see in pictures or weather radar.

On one of Marshburn’s Twitter photos from Jan. 22, he writes, “Outer Banks of NC and Pamlico Sound with Kitty Hawk, where it all started!”

On another from Jan. 15, he writes, “Was greeted this AM by some spectacular hues. U can always tell (you are) over Australia by the brilliant brick red color.”

He tweets a photo along with a description almost everyday and some days, two or three.

Because of NASA’s focus on social media over the past year, the agency has been nominated for a “Shorty Award,” which honor the best people and organizations on social media.

NASA’s efforts to explore the world of social media will “allow people who regularly interact with each other via these platforms to meet in person and discuss one of their favorite subjects: NASA,” according to

For Mashburn, a Statesville native, this is his second trip to the International Space Station. He and his team will return in Earth in May after five months in space. In a straight line, Statesville is about 6,000 miles from Kazakhstan.

Marshburn received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Davidson College in 1982.

Follow us on twitter at @HeraldWeekly to see more of Marshburn’s tweets.