When NASA astronaut Anne McClain had her official spacesuit photo shoot leading up to her trip to the International Space Station in November, she decided to do something unusual: McClain brought along her 4-year-old son for the session, and the resulting photos are adorable.
“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 wrote in a Tweet. “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.’”
The photos were captured in August 2017 for NASA by photographer Bill Stafford.
“[S]ometimes, I bring him to work with me. Not sure who enjoys it more!” McClain wrote in a caption for the portraits.
In addition to being a devoted mother, McClain is a decorated US Army Major, attack helicopter pilot, and aerospace engineer.
Image credits: Photographs by Bill Stafford/NASA