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This is how astronauts celebrate Christmas and other holidays in space



The International Space Station will receive 7 crew members during the entire holiday, which is the most time that humans have lived in an orbital laboratory in 20 years.

International staff include NASA astronauts Kate Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover Jr. and Shannon Walker. Japanese Space Agency astronaut Noguchi Noguchi; Russian astronauts Sergei Kud Svechkov and Sergey Richkov.

The international staff will sit down together to enjoy a special meal. Team members will also call home to chat with friends, family and relatives.

Walker said in November: “I am very happy to enter the space station this year because I can share American traditions with international flight attendants.”

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Noguchi said: “2020 is a difficult year, but it is also a year of perseverance and resilience. I really hope that each of you will always cherish your friends and family.” (The “Perseverance” rover launched this year And the name of the SpaceX Crew-1 capsule “rebound”, it seems more meaningful to the crew during the pandemic.)

Vacation away from earth

Since the Apollo mission, astronauts have been celebrating the tradition of spending holidays in space. At that time, the crew of Apollo 8 shared their thoughts by reading the Bible in Genesis in a live broadcast in 1968. Christmas Eve information.

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NASA astronaut Dr. Andrew Morgan told CNN that the way these holidays are marked and celebrated depends on each crew member, and space veterans often share their suggestions and ideas with novices before they go up the mountain.

Morgan spent the entire holiday in 2019 on the space station, with crews Jessica Meir, Christina Koch, Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Skripochka (Oleg Skripochka) and Luca Parmitano (Luca Parmitano) together.

In the days before the holiday, Morgan and his staff played Christmas music throughout the station and played classic holiday movies to create a festive atmosphere. He said the crew also used a projector that recorded burning Yule logs, making them look like they had a cozy fireplace in the station.

Taking into account the international nature of the crew, they actually celebrate Christmas twice: Christmas on December 25 and Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7.

Mel showed off her Hannukah socks on the cupola.
Astronaut Jessica Meir celebrates Hanukkah from elsewhere
Meir was Jewish. She commemorated the death of Hanukkah at Light Station and posted photos of holiday socks on Twitter, but she also grew up to celebrate Christmas and participated in space station celebrations.

If your idea of ​​planning ahead is to buy Christmas gifts on Black Friday, it is very different for astronauts if they take into account the holidays, they will conduct space missions in advance.

(From left) Mel, Palmitano, Morgan, and Koch celebrate Christmas in space-wearing matching pajamas.

Morgan said: “We must think about a year or more in advance to ensure that we have been buying, packaging and keeping these gifts confidential.”

Morgan knows that Parmitano enjoys a special Russian treatment, namely chocolate cheese, which is essentially a heavy chocolate fudge. Therefore, Morgan saves some of Palmatano’s gift. Morgan also provided each crew member with a harmonica so that they could put a harmonica band on board.

All the staff shared a holiday message and sang a serenade in mission control centers around the world. One of them was wearing John Lennon’s “Merry Christmas” and José Feliciano (José Feliciano). ) “Feliz Navidad” (Feliz Navidad), everyone is wearing matching festive striped pajamas.

Morgan misses his family and thinks about the traditions he usually shares with them. One of his favorites is spending Christmas Eve, which is lit only by candlelight. He grew up in this tradition and continues to this day with his family.

The festive Yule logs are projected on the space station.

When he woke up on the space station on Christmas morning, all the lights were turned off, which is a normal phenomenon when astronauts fall asleep.

But Koch took the small flashlights and covered them with golden tape to make them look like small burning candles. They are everywhere-in laboratories, crew quarters, and the crew’s kitchen.

Morgan said: “When I saw that, I was really nostalgic.” “It reminds me of missing my family during Christmas, but also of Christina’s behavior. She noticed that little detail, this Very meaningful. This is one of the many memories I have spent in space.”

happy New Year

The space station operates according to Greenwich Mean Time to comply with the schedule. The crew witnessed 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day while flying around the earth at 17,500 miles per hour.

Therefore, when it comes to saying “Happy New Year”, the crew has many opportunities to celebrate. When the New Year arrives in their time zone, they will call each mission control center.

For the Russian crew, the New Year holiday is much bigger than Christmas, so the entire crew gathers together to enjoy food and toast until next year.

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

But another important tradition is to watch Russian films, which essentially means “irony of fate” when translated. Morgan said that in the 1976 Soviet romantic comedy TV movie, “some gentlemen were drunk. He ended up in Leningrad. I don’t know how he got there.”

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Watching movies on New Year’s Eve in Russia is a cultural phenomenon, so it is shown in Russia to commemorate this tradition.

Morgan said: “Experience with our Russian crew is really special.” “These traditional exchanges, each other’s vacations and sharing with each other in an international team, this will be what I stand out from this experience. It It embodies all the benefits of international cooperation and the sharing of traditions between different countries.”

Celebrate in isolation

Although astronauts usually have the ability to send emails, conduct video conferences, and make phone calls, they have more time to do these things, so they can contact their families during the holidays.

In 2020, this is also a way for family and friends to stay safe through social distancing.

Morgan said: “Although it’s not perfect, we still have a lot to thank.” “Even if we are far apart, whether it’s interstate, ocean or low Earth orbit, we can all use technology as part of each other’s vacation experience. “

This is his first Thanksgiving home since 2018. Although they usually receive astronauts and astronauts here in Houston for training, they cannot do so this year.

Humans have lived on the space station for 20 years

Morgan said that the key to enjoying this holiday is similar to the way astronauts celebrate in space: be planned, intentional and thoughtful.

Morgan said that to keep in touch with people who have not been in contact for a while, it is necessary to be deliberate and considerate. Making small gestures can have a big impact.

Become an astronaut during the pandemic:

Before going to space, he collected photos of his friends and family. In space, he took them to the cupola. From the space station, he could see the earth and took photos of his relatives with the earth as the background. This is a simple thing, although it requires some planning, but it brings joy to the one he loves.

Morgan also expressed hope for the current staff of the space station and everyone on earth.

Morgan said: “Because they have gone through vacations separated from their loved ones, so are most people on the planet.” “But this separation is limited. The crew will return and reunite, this epidemic will pass and we All will be reunited as human beings.”


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