Holiday spirit fills the International Space Station as astronauts prepare to celebrate Christmas in space.
In a new video from the space station, Cmdr. Luca Parmitano and NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir share their favorite memories of the holiday season. Parmitano also sends a special holiday message to those who are deployed overseas and cannot spend time with their families, much like the astronauts on the space station.
“Happy Holidays!” Koch said in the video. “You know my favorite thing about the holiday season is that it’s a time when the world slows down and we all get a chance to think about and appreciate and reflect on what’s really important, which is the people that we love and spending time together.”
The Expedition 61 astronauts celebrate Christmas and the holidays in orbit aboard the International Space Station in December 2019. (Image credit: NASA)
Expedition 61 astronaut Andrew Morgan of NASA (front) and Christina Koch (center) demonstrate how to drink cocoa in space for the holidays. (Image credit: NASA)
While the astronauts are spending the holidays apart from their families, they have plenty of festive supplies aboard the space station, including Christmas stockings, Santa hats, smoked salmon, fruitcake, hot apple cider, and hot coco.
“When I think about missing my family on the ground, I know that they’re visiting family and spending time with family,” Morgan said in the video. “I am going to bring some of my own family traditions with us on board the International Space Station.”
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care….Merry Christmas from Drew, Christina, Jessica and Luca pic.twitter.com/8nnL35j0CdDecember 25, 2019
Happy to partner with #NORAD to help track Santa! https://t.co/vTOk5ZxKSIDecember 24, 2019
ESA astronaut @astro_luca on the International @Space_Station shares an end-of-year message with everyone on Earth – reflecting on space exploration and the importance of preserving our home planet for future generations. #Christmas pic.twitter.com/YQjgFj6Ms3December 24, 2019
One of Morgan’s Christmas Eve traditions is to turn off all the lights in the house and enjoy only candlelight. To mirror this tradition on the space station, the astronauts plan to turn all the lights down low and watch Christmas movies.
Meir grew up celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah. This year for the first night of Hanukkah (Dec. 22), Meir tweeted a photo of her wearing festive blue, neon green and purple socks, complete with menorahs and representations of the Star of David.
“However you’re celebrating this holiday this year, may it be one full of joy,” Koch said.
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