Most people go home to their family for Thanksgiving. Others, however, simply cannot attend gatherings because they are in their line of duty, including the International Space Station astronauts.
It has become a tradition to celebrate this important holiday with the most important people in one’s life, and that entails taking the time off work to share with them the things to be thankful for. However, for particular professions, specifically astronauts, they have no other choice but to stay and revel in their special ways.
Expedition 57 Team
Three astronauts were not able to spend the holidays with their loved ones but that does not mean they’re not preparing for it in space. In a video shared by the ISS on Nov. 21 via Twitter, Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst and NASA flight engineer Serena Auñon-Chancellor made it a point to greet everyone on Earth a “Happy Thanksgiving.”
The duo, along with Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, were to share a sumptuous meal that was sent in advanced, which consists of yams, pound cake, and of course, the traditional turkey, even though it was only Auñon-Chancellor who had observed Thanksgiving in the past. Gerst, a German, said it was not the first time he is celebrating this special day.
“Thanksgiving is a time to spend with those whom you love, whoever that might be, and so we’ll be enjoying this meal together but then also calling our loved ones back on planet Earth,” Auñon-Chancellor shared.
Both Auñon-Chancellor and Gerst had their days-off, which left Prokopyev the only one working during the holiday. Regular programming will be back on Friday, and it means the three will have a lax time, a chance they can grab to catch up with their families and friends.
One of the perks about celebrating Thanksgiving in space? There will be more food for everyone. The best part? There are no dishes to wash.
As much as these things sound exciting for everyone on earth, there is a reason why there were only three ISS astronauts onboard. NASA‘s flight engineer Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin should have been in orbit by now, but a malfunction in the space rocket forced them to land back to Earth just minutes after they had lifted off on Oct. 11.
In an interview, Auñon-Chancellor admitted that as much as the team wanted the two astronauts in space, knowing that they were safe is what is paramount.
Are you thawing out your turkey? The space station crew is preparing for Thanksgiving, too! Tomorrow, an American, European and Russian will celebrate together in space with their own special meal. Happy Thanksgiving from the International Space Station! pic.twitter.com/VVW5QEEvKY — Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) November 21, 2018
Photo: NASA Johnson | Flickr