NASA, SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving at the Space Station

This year, SpaceX gave human spaceflight capabilities back to NASA. After almost a decade of relying on Russia to launch astronauts to the International Space Station, the United States resurfaced as a space force (ISS). In May, SpaceX conducted a crewed demonstration flight, then its first crewed operating mission, Crew-1. On November 15th, a team of astronauts launched a Falcon 9 rocket onboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a 27-hour voyage to the orbiting laboratory. On November 16th, NASA Crew-1 astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Soichi Noguchi arrived at the ISS. They joined Expedition 64 crew members, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and a pair of Russian cosmonauts, Sergey Ryzhikov, commander of the ISS, and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, flight engineer.

The Space Station’s Expedition 64 astronauts from the United States, Japan and Russia took the day off today to celebrate Thanksgiving and relax after a long week of microgravity science studies. In a video posted by the organization, the crew shared what they were most grateful for (shown below). “Whether your food is floating out in front of you or resting firmly on your table, we hope your day is filled with joy, laughter, and thankfulness. Happy Thanksgiving!” the agency stated.

The astronauts had an out-of-this-world celebration. In zero gravity, they shared the special holiday meals they will feast on. Their diet is not so much like the food we eat on Earth, it’s dried inside pouches of food. Some delicious items on today’s menu include smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, curry rice, and green beans. “We are zooming above the planet at 17,500 miles [28,164 kilometers] an hour, but we still get to have Thanksgiving up here,” NASA Astronaut Rubins said. “Greetings from 250 miles [402 km] above the Earth,” Astronaut Hopkins added.

“I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!” Flight engineer Astronaut Glover said in the video released by the agency, “…First and foremost, I have to say that I am grateful to be here. It is such an amazing opportunity and experience, there is an amazing view out of that cupola window I’ve got an amazing crew up here,” he said. “[…] Such an amazing place to spend the Thanksgiving.”

“We’re going to have a wonderful meal,” Astronaut Walker said, “I think, it’s very likely that we will have another American tradition and we will be streaming football to watch up here!” she said with a smile.

“This is the highest party room on Earth!” JAXA Astronaut Noguchi said with excitement, while holding a handful of food pouches, including a container of seafood prepared by a Japanese student. “The year 2020 is a tough one. A year of perseverance and the year of resilience,” Noguchi added, in reference to the Coronavirus outbreak. SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts named the Crew Dragon spacecraft they arrived to ISS on, ‘Resilience’; and NASA named its 2020 Mars Rover, ‘Perseverance’, names that inspire to push forward through difficult times. “… I really hope every one of you enjoy and cherish every moment with your friends and family, as we do on orbit. I love my family. Thanksgiving is great. God Bless you, bye-bye.” Noguchi said (video above).

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