The story behind this astronaut's adorable NASA photo is full of feels

Publish Date
Friday, 3 February 2017, 3:00PM

This astronaut's picture has gone viral a couple of times now, and we can totally understand why.

Leland Melvin is a NASA astronaut and his first trip into orbit was back in 2008. This guy has spent over 565 hours in space!


Speaking to Gizmodo, Melvin explained exactly what went on behind the scenes of the viral photo with his rescue dogs, Jake and Scout.

He originally rescued Jake, and actually found Melvin in his garden. "I was cooking a turkey and Jake was right beside me waiting for something to drop, and my neighbor came over and said, 'Leland, Jake's in the front yard.' I was confused because Jake was next to me," Melvin said.

"I went outside and there was this dog in my yard. So I brought him in, and he had no collar or tag. No one claimed him...I think someone might have dumped him because he had heart worms."

He nursed Melvin back to health and kept him along with Jake! 

And the photo?

"I had a van and I drove the dogs in. NASA doesn't allow dogs to be on-site, so when I showed them my NASA badge, I kept the window up...and I had the stereo blasting because the dogs were barking.

"So I gunned it and the [security guard] didn't chase me or anything."

He took them upstairs to the photo area. "I had all these dog bones, and they were just sitting there eating the bones, just grubbin' and happy.

"The dogs just ran over to me. And [I said] the guy who took the picture, Robert Markowitz, 'Dude, start shooting!'"


"Jake was nibbling my ear. "Scout was all up in my grill, like, 'Hey, what's going on here? What is he doing?' But if you look at the picture, all of us are holding hands, all of us are connected. And it was just incredible,

"That picture was just amazing to me," explained Melvin.

Dogs truly are a man's best friend.

Sadly, both dogs have since passed away. Aww, rest in peace Jake and Scout.