Although this year’s Christmas was muted worldwide due to the pandemic, the festive joy could still spread to outer space. The astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) not only celebrated Christmas aboard the space station, but also sent a message about human resilience to Earth.
All seven members of the ISS Expedition 64 crew member took the day in orbit to relax, but five of them broadcast some special videos for everyone on earth. Talking about how the pandemic changed lives, they greeted the human spirit and talked about how they celebrate Christmas and display gifts they received through special delivery.
Although the crew took the day off, they emphasized that the Mission Control team from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston works 24 hours a day and will work all day during the holiday season and make a special call give.
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Flight controllers get a special❄️ #Holiday ❄️cream from @Space station residents @NASA_Astronauts Kate Rubins, @AstroVicGlover, & @Astro_illini!
📸: NASA / Anthony Vareha pic.twitter.com/tYgrQpz5H8
– Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) 24 December 2020
The international crew in ISS includes NASA astronauts Kate Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover Jr. and Shannon Walker in; The astronaut of Japanese spaceflight, Soichi Noguchi; and Russian astronauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov.
In keeping with tradition, they decorated the ISS with holiday decorations made with objects found around the station, and showed it off by challenging the mission management team to make holiday decorations made only from materials found in the building. Wearing a festive red-and-green Christmas jacket, Scoville replied, “Accept challenge!” before I add, ‘I might have to cut up this coat and make something new later.’
Talking about the holidays away from family and friends, the over 64 astronauts show off some of their gifts and give Mission Control a decorating challenge at @NASA_Johnson. pic.twitter.com/sNcssj6Eio
International Space Station (@Space_Station) 24 December 2020
Holiday spirits were evident in the video messages when SpaceX crew pilot Victor Glover showed off his socks – specially printed with photos of his family member – and Japanese aerospace engineer Soichi Noguchi shared an early Christmas present for the team – a can of mackerel made by a group of schoolgirls. “It’s a tiny, tiny can of mackerel, but a giant leap for Japanese high school girls,” Noguchi joked, showing off the gift.
And since Christmas is incomplete without Santa, for the first time ever, astronauts on the ISS received a special visit from a strange spacecraft – powered by a reindeer and a cheerful old elf. The North American Aviation Defense Order (NORAD) and Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) has released a new video of Santa’s flyby through the station for the festival.
Follow where he’s still going: https://t.co/TAfztY2fO7 pic.twitter.com/H0RHyTb7fC
– NASA (@NASA) 24 December 2020
“For the first time ever, the FAA Santa has issued a special commercial space license for a mission to the International Space Station using its StarSleigh-1 space capsule powered by the Rudolph Rocket,” the FAA said in a statement. “Let’s be honest, 2020 was a difficult year and we could all use special holiday cheer that only Santa can deliver,” he added.
Earlier, they took some time to send home a message of “resilience” during a particularly difficult holiday, and once again the importance of the name they gave to the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which celebrates four of the astronauts launched to the space station in November, explains.
.@NASA_Astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Kate Rubins, and @JAXA_en astronaut Soichi Noguchi reflects on an unprecedented year and reminds us of the resilience of the human spirit as we enter a new year. pic.twitter.com/zK9CgG9ZdA
International Space Station (@Space_Station) 22 December 2020
Away from home and family on earth, astronauts have spent vacations aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for the past 20 years and each year they have perpetuated the events by adapting new ways to enjoy festivals in outer space.