As the Cosmic Thanksgiving season approaches, a unique celebration is set to unfold aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, November 23. The Expedition 70 crew, led by Commander Andreas Mogensen, is eagerly anticipating a lavish holiday feast, thanks to the recent supply delivery by the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on November 11.
The diverse crew of six flight engineers comprises NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara, Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa, and Russia’s Konstantin Borisov, Nikolai Chub, and Oleg Kononenko. The orbiting outpost, traveling at an altitude of approximately 250 miles, is poised to become the venue for a cosmic Cosmic Thanksgiving celebration.
Expressing Gratitude from Space
On Wednesday, the astronauts took a moment to convey heartfelt Cosmic Thanksgiving greetings to the world from their unique vantage point in space. Amidst the microgravity environment of the ISS, they shared reflections on the holiday, discussing their expressions of gratitude and emphasizing what they are thankful for, including the awe-inspiring view of Earth from above.
In a poignant acknowledgment of the diversity of celebrations, Loral O’Hara delivered a thoughtful message, stating, “We would also like to recognize that not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in the same way. While this is a time for gratitude, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on our history and remember those who might not get to go home for Thanksgiving or enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.”
Cosmic Thanksgiving Feast in Zero Gravity
While traditional Thanksgiving celebrations on Earth involve cooking a whole turkey in an oven, the ISS crew is bringing their unique twist to the festivities. The multinational crew is set to indulge in a selection of succulent meats, side dishes, and desserts, albeit in the microgravity environment of space.
The Thanksgiving menu includes quail, duck, seafood, roast turkey, canned cranberry sauce, butternut squash, corn, and an assortment of fresh citrus fruits, apples, cherry tomatoes, and more. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft delivered two cold storage kits featuring an array of cheeses like Parmesan, Romano, cheddar, Asiago, and Gruyère. Additionally, the crew will have kits for making pizza, hummus, salsa, and olives.
For dessert, the astronauts are in for a treat with chocolate, pumpkin spice cappuccino, rice cakes, mochi, and cranberry-apple sweet dishes. The space-borne Cosmic Thanksgiving promises a delightful array of flavors and textures, creating a memorable and unconventional celebration in the cosmos.
Taking a Holiday Break
Before the holiday break, NASA highlighted the commitment of all seven members of Expedition 70, who diligently carried out their respective duties on Wednesday. These tasks included space biology research and maintenance tasks to upkeep the orbital station. NASA mentioned that on Thanksgiving Day, the entire crew will take a well-deserved break, relax, and come together to enjoy a hearty meal, fostering a sense of camaraderie and celebration in the vastness of space.