That is how astronauts have a good time Christmas and different holidays in house



The Worldwide House Station will host seven crew members all through the vacation season, probably the most ever for the orbiting laboratory in its 20 years of getting people dwelling aboard.

The worldwide crew contains NASA astronauts Kate Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover Jr. and Shannon Walker; Japan Aerospace Exploration Company astronaut Soichi Noguchi; and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov.

The worldwide crew will sit down for a particular meal collectively. The crew members can even name residence to speak with associates, household and family members.

“I am very completely satisfied to be on the house station this yr as a result of I get to share American traditions with my worldwide crew mates,” Walker mentioned in November.

“The yr 2020 is a tricky one, but it surely’s additionally the the yr of Perseverance and the yr of Resilience and I actually hope each one in all you cherish each second along with your family and friends,” Noguchi mentioned in November. (The names of the Perseverance rover and the SpaceX Crew-1 capsule Resilience, each launched this yr, appear much more significant to the crew throughout the pandemic.)

Holidays away from Earth

Astronauts have marked the custom of celebrating holidays in house for the reason that days of the Apollo mission, when the Apollo 8 crew famously shared their Christmas Eve message in a dwell tv broadcast in 1968 by taking turns studying from the Guide of Genesis within the Bible.

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How these holidays are marked and celebrated is as much as every particular person crew, and house veterans are likely to share strategies and concepts with rookies earlier than they go up, NASA astronaut Dr. Andrew Morgan advised CNN.

Morgan spent everything of the vacation season on the house station in 2019 alongside crewmates Jessica Meir, Christina Koch, Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Skripochka and Luca Parmitano.

Within the days main as much as the vacation, Morgan and his crew performed Christmas music all through the station and had traditional vacation films enjoying to create a festive ambiance. The crew additionally used a projector with a recording of a burning Yuletide log to make it appear to be that they had a comfy hearth on the station, he mentioned.

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Given the worldwide nature of their crew, they really celebrated Christmas twice: Christmas on December 25 and Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7.

Meir showed off her Hannukah socks in the cupola.
Astronaut Jessica Meir celebrates Hanukkah from, where else, space
Meir is Jewish and marked the passing of Hanukkah on the house station, tweeting photos of her festive socks, however she additionally grew up celebrating Christmas and joined within the festivities on the station.

In case your thought of planning forward is shopping for Christmas presents on Black Friday, it is very completely different for astronauts considering forward to their house mission if it contains holidays.

(From left) Meir, Parmitano, Morgan and Koch celebrate Christmas in space -- in matching pajamas.

“We had to consider a yr or extra prematurely to verify we bought, packed and stored these presents a secret the complete time,” Morgan mentioned.

Morgan knew that Parmitano loved a particular Russian deal with referred to as chocolate cheese, which is basically a heavy chocolate fudge, so Morgan saved some to incorporate with Parmitano’s current. Morgan additionally gave each crewmate a harmonica of their stocking so they might have a harmonica band on board.

Collectively, the crew shared a vacation message and serenaded their mission management facilities internationally with one chorus every from John Lennon’s “Completely satisfied Christmas” and José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” — all whereas carrying matching festively striped pajamas.

Morgan was lacking his household and serious about the traditions he would usually share with them. Certainly one of his favorites is spending Christmas eve solely lit by candlelight. He grew up with this custom and continues it along with his household to today.

A festive Yule log is projected on the space station.

When he awakened on Christmas morning within the house station, the entire lights had been turned off within the modules, a standard incidence whereas the astronauts are asleep.

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However Koch had taken small flashlights and lined them with gold-colored tape to make them appear to be little burning candles. They had been all over the place — within the lab, the crew quarters, the galley the place the crew eats.

“Once I noticed that, I really obtained choked up with nostalgia,” Morgan mentioned. “It made me take into consideration lacking my household throughout Christmas, but in addition simply the thoughtfulness of Christina’s gesture. She had paid consideration to that little element, and it was extraordinarily significant. It is one of many many reminiscences I cherish from my time on the house station.”

Many completely satisfied New Years

The house station operates on Greenwich Imply Time to stay to a schedule. The crew witnesses 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day as they orbit the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour.

So when it comes time to say “Completely satisfied New Yr,” the crew has many possibilities to have a good time. They make calls down to every mission management because the New Yr arrives of their time zone.

New Yr’s is a a lot larger vacation than Christmas for the Russian crew, so the complete crew got here collectively to get pleasure from a big meal and toast to the yr forward.

The crew formed a band to serenade mission control centers around the world.

However the different huge custom includes watching a Russian movie, which, when translated primarily means, “The Irony of Destiny.” The 1976 Soviet romantic comedy tv movie has “somewhat little bit of a weird plot a couple of gentleman who turns into so drunk, he leads to Leningrad and would not understand how he obtained there,” Morgan mentioned.

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It is a cultural phenomenon to observe the film on New Yr’s Eve in Russia, so it’s performed within the Russian section to honor the custom.

“To expertise that with our Russian crew mates was further particular,” Morgan mentioned. “That trade of these traditions and experiencing every others’ holidays and sharing that with one another throughout a world crew, that would be the factor I take away from that have. It embodies every little thing good about worldwide cooperation and sharing traditions throughout completely different nations.”

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Celebrating in isolation

Whereas the astronauts usually have the power to ship emails, do video conferences and make cellphone calls, they get somewhat extra time to do these to allow them to join with household throughout the holidays.

In 2020, it is also how households and associates are connecting as they social distance to remain protected.

“Whereas it is not good, we nonetheless have lots to be glad about,” Morgan mentioned. “We now have the know-how obtainable to be a part of every others’ vacation experiences although we’re far aside, whether or not that be throughout states, oceans or from low-Earth orbit.”

It is his first Thanksgiving residence since 2018. Whereas they normally host astronauts and cosmonauts in Houston who’re visiting for coaching, they can not try this this yr.

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Morgan mentioned the important thing to having fun with this vacation season is just like how the astronauts have a good time in house: with planning, intention and thoughtfulness.

Join with folks you have not reached out to shortly, be intentionally considerate and make small gestures which have a huge impact, Morgan mentioned.

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Earlier than going to house, he collected photographs of his family and friends. In house, he took them to the cupola, the place Earth is seen from the house station, and took photographs of his family members with Earth as a backdrop. It was a easy factor, though it took some planning, however introduced pleasure to his family members.

Morgan additionally shared his want for the present crew on the house station in addition to everybody on Earth.

“As they expertise the vacations separated from family members, so are nearly all of the folks on this planet proper now,” Morgan mentioned. “However that separation is finite. The crew will return and be reunited, this pandemic will cross, and we are going to all be reunited as human beings.”



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