Vulcan Salute: Astronauts Honor Leonard Nimoy from Space (Photos)

Cristoforetti Vulcan Salute for Nimoy
European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took this photo from the International Space Station to pay tribute to "Star Trek" actor Leonard Nimoy, who died Feb. 27, 2015. (Image credit: Samantha Cristoforetti's Twitter)

Two astronauts in space said goodbye to a science fiction legend on Earth by beaming back striking photos from the International Space Station.

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti honored "Star Trek" actor Leonard Nimoy — who died Friday (Feb. 6) due to end-stage lung disease — by posting a photo of herself wearing a Starfleet insignia, holding up the Vulcan salute and looking toward Earth on Twitter Saturday (Feb. 28). The image is a tribute to Nimoy, famous for playing the logical and stoic Vulcan Spock on "Star Trek."

"'Of all the souls I have encountered.. his was the most human,'" Cristoforetti wrote on Twitter, quoting a line referencing Spock from the original "Star Trek" series. "Thx @TheRealNimoy for bringing Spock to life for us."

Cristoforetti's fellow space station crewmember, NASA astronaut Terry Virts, also posted a photo tribute to Nimoy. In the image posted to Twitter on Feb. 28, Virts holds up his Vulcan salute to a window as the space station flew above Boston, Massachusetts — Nimoy's hometown.

Nimoy's private funeral was held Sunday (March 1) in Los Angeles, according to Yahoo. People around the world showed their love for Nimoy and Spock through an outpouring of support on social media Friday and through the weekend.

"Thank you for all the love and kind words to Leonard," Nimoy's family wrote on his Facebook page the same day as his funeral. We lost a wonderful, talented, sweet man, a great father, husband, grandpa, and friend. Again thank you for all the love and good wishes. R.I.P and LLAP [live long and prosper]."

NASA astronaut Terry Virts took this image from the International Space Station to honor Leonard Nimoy. (Image credit: Terry Virts via ISS Instagram)

NASA astronaut Mike Fincke and ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano also expressed their feelings about Spock and Nimoy in a video. Even President Barack Obama issued a statement about what Spock meant to him.

"Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy," Obama said in a statement released Friday. "Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek's optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity's future. I loved Spock."

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Miriam Kramer
Staff Writer

Miriam Kramer joined as a Staff Writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also served as's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. Miriam is currently a space reporter with Axios, writing the Axios Space newsletter. You can follow Miriam on Twitter.