Seven astronauts are celebrating the holiday season on the International Space Station, but that doesn’t stop them from bringing some holiday joy back to Earth.
Expedition 64 crew members take a day off, but NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Kate Rubins, and Japanese space program astronaut Soichi Noguchiu still needed time to Send a message “resilience” at home during a particularly difficult holiday season.
“Resistance” is also the name they gavewho launched four astronauts onto the space station last month.
“We chose that name in honor of people around the world and the teams that help make our mission possible during a year that has changed our entire lives,” Hopkins said. “We’d like to remember everyone we lost this year, too.”
“There couldn’t be a more appropriate name to describe 2020,” Glover added. “The resilience of the human spirit is something we can truly celebrate in this special season.”
“As we prepare to observe the holidays away from our loved ones, we look toward our precious planet and it becomes clear how connected we really are,” Walker said.
Hopkins, Glover, Walker and Noguchi headed to the station in November, joining Rubins, as well as Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, who will all spend Christmas relaxing, inviting family and friends and sharing a festive meal together.
“My family in the field is definitely in my thoughts, prayers and socks,” Glover said. other video, highlighting his custom socks featuring pictures of family members. “But it also makes me think of all the people who are also unable to spend the holidays with their families,” he added, thanking service members and health workers during the pandemic.
Earlier this month, aarrived at the ISS with new supplies – including Christmas presents and repairs. Roast turkey, cranberry sauce, cornbread topping, cherry blueberry shoehorn, au gratin potatoes, cookies and other snacks for the holiday feast of seven people arrived on the eve of the holiday.
The holidays “mean the three Fa’s – family, friends and food,” Walker said.
Noguchi also received a special food item from a group of Japanese students from Wakasa High School: a small can of mackerel.
“We hope you will be able to take the opportunity to celebrate the holidays before we turn the calendar into a new year, with renewed hope and spirit for the future,” Noguchi said.
Rubins said the crew this Christmas is hosting a competition against the mission control team at the Johnson Space Center – whichever team decorates their workstations with the best DIY decor of what they have on hand in space and mission control, wins.
“I know you challenged and just to say, decorating mission control? Challenge accepted,” said NASA flight director Zebulon Scoville, wearing a formal blazer and tie. “I may have to cut this coat to turn it into something new.”
Santa’s sleighs for the first time specifically stopped at the ISS, according to NORAD, the North American Space Defense Command, which “monitors” Santa’s travels every year. The Federal Aviation Administration granted Santa space flight on Wednesday, granting him a special commercial space permit for a crew mission to the ISS aboard his “Rudolph rocket-powered StarSleigh-1 space capsule.”
“Let’s come to terms with the fact that 2020 was a difficult year and we could all take advantage of some special holiday joy that only Santa Claus can provide,” said FAA administrator Steve Dickson.