Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is auctioning off more of his digital space art, with the proceeds going to a very worthy cause.
Kelly released his first NFT, a 3,333-piece art project called "Dreams Out Of This World," on Apr. 12, with the goal of inspiring people, introducing them to the burgeoning virtual realm known as the metaverse, and raising money to help the people of Ukraine deal with the ongoing Russian invasion.
Part two of "Dreams Out Of This World" will be auctioned off today for 48 hours, with all net proceeds going to Ukraine aid and relief work, Kelly told Space.com.
The second "Dreams Out Of This World" NFT drop includes a variety of eye-catching orbital views that would all brighten up a virtual home. One-piece, titled "Baby Blue," for example, depicts our ocean planet in a softer, lighter hue than we're used to seeing.
"Compass Cay, aka Compass Waters," another piece in the new NFT drop, depicts more brilliant blue - the various and dazzling shades found at a spot in The Bahamas, a function of the varying water depths there.
Kelly says in the voiceover that the Bahamas are "one of the most beautiful places to look from space on Earth," and that he has always would like to go over to the International Space Station's windows "and look out while we were flying over The Bahamas."
Kelly spent 340 days on the International Space Station in 2015 and 2016, setting an American record that stood until this spring, when NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei completed a 355-day stay on the orbiting lab.
Vande Hei returned to Earth on a Russian Soyuz capsule with two cosmonauts on March 30, demonstrating that not all of Russia's space partnerships have yet splintered in the aftermath of its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Kelly has been a vocal and outspoken critic of the invasion and the devastation it has caused in Ukraine. On Twitter, he frequently criticizes Russia's actions and refers to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a murderous dictator.
As a result, it's no wonder that the profits generated from the NFT auctions will be used to help Ukraine. The pinned tweet on Kelly's Twitter page features a new "Captain Ukraine" T-shirt depicting the country's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as a superhero. That shirt is for sale, and all proceeds will benefit UNICEF Ukraine's relief efforts.
Both NFT projects "Dreams Out Of This World" debuted on significant dates in spaceflight history.
On Apr. 12, 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin launched into Earth orbit aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft, making history as the first human spaceflight. On May 5, NASA's Alan Shepard flew the first suborbital mission, making him the first American to reach the final frontier.