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Astronaut and Maryland native Terry Virts retires from NASA

Astronaut and Maryland native Terry Virts with FOX45's Candace Dold (WBFF)

(WBFF) -- Astronaut and Maryland native Terry Virts has retired from NASA.

Virts, who has logged over 4,300 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft, was selected by NASA in 2000 and served as commander aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for Expedition 43 in 2015.

He also served as space shuttle pilot for the STS-130 mission in 2010 and as flight engineer for Expedition 42 in 2014.

While aboard the ISS in 2015 Virts posted frequent, stunning views of planet Earth to social media -- including an aerial shot of Baltimore.

Virts, who was born in Baltimore and considers Columbia, Md. his hometown, also posed aboard the ISS wearing a Baltimore Orioles jersey.

FOX45's Candace Dold interviewed Virts during his time on the space station and he had a message for his favorite baseball team!

"Go O's!" he said. "Best team in the American League East for the last three years...it's been so much fun being an Orioles fan the last few years."

Some of the images Virts captured while onboard the ISS were featured in the IMAX film, 'A Beautiful Planet.'

"This is a rare Hollywood film that was made entirely by volunteers on their spare time," Virts said in an interview with FOX45. "We had a day job in space doing science and maintenance and everything you have to do in space, so this movie was not really filmed on scheduled time...you get to see life in space, eating, washing your hair, sleeping."

Virts spent a total of 213 days in space and conducted three spacewalks.

After his final mission to the ISS he returned to Baltimore, to catch a game at Camden Yards.

"I was born in Baltimore," Virts said. "I grew up in Maryland and the Orioles have been my team since I was a kid back in the 70s and 80s when they were in the World Series and playoffs. I was with them in the 90s and 2000s. Rooted for them through the good years and bad years."

Virts' last day with NASA was August 23.


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