How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in Space
While many Americans sat around their Thanksgiving dinner tables on Thursday, another group of folks floated around their own Thanksgiving dinner at the edge of space — the crew of the International Space Station (ISS). Traveling at around 250 miles above the Earth, six astronauts from five countries had their very own Thanksgiving meal on the ISS on Thursday, sharing pictures and videos of their celestial feast on Twitter.
Continuously occupied since 2000, the current ISS crew is on Expedition 45, whose mission summary includes human research, biology and biotechnology, astrophysics research, physical science investigations, and education activities. The crew includes two Americans, Scott Kelly and Kjell N. Lindgren; four Russian cosmonauts from the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos; and one astronaut from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The Expedition 45 mission runs through Dec. 22 of this year.
The International Space Station isn't exactly known for its Michelin stars — anyone who's ever eaten freeze-dried astronaut ice cream from their local science museum gift shop can relate. ISS Commander Kelly — who has already been in space a total of 216 days and counting — got a gentle ribbing from his brother Mark, fellow NASA astronaut and husband of former Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords, about the "gourmet" Thanksgiving meal offerings on board the International Space Station:
His brother Scott replied:
Ever wondered how astronauts cook a Thanksgiving meal in space? Wonder no more!
"Pass the salt" takes on a whole new meaning when you're gobbling up turkey in zero gravity:
Something you probably won’t hear this Thanksgiving: “Float the salt, please” https://t.co/sVQrypHH3P— NASA (@NASA) November 26, 2015
Even from 250 miles above our planet, the ISS crew sent their Thanksgiving well wishes to us Earth-dwellers below:
Thankful for my family, this amazing opportunity, our phenomenal ground team, and for our beautiful home, the Earth. pic.twitter.com/rBubDvtqg7— Kjell Lindgren (@astro_kjell) November 27, 2015
今日は米国の祝日（サンクス・ギビング・デー）なので、私も休日。私は、皆さんに特別な夕食を振舞う事が出来ませんので、さっき撮影した日の出の写真で感謝の気持ちを表したいと思います。一瞬の間に、ダイナミックに変化していく光が凄いんです。 pic.twitter.com/BFxT08OwUK— 油井 亀美也 Kimiya.Yui (@Astro_Kimiya) November 26, 2015
Watch the full ISS Thanksgiving video message below:
Images: Scott Kelly/Twitter.