NASA New Year's Eve: Astronauts Will Ring in 2014 from Times Square

Around 1,000 people watch NASA's Curiosity rover land on Mars from New York City's Times Square on Aug. 5, 2012.
Around 1,000 people watch NASA's Curiosity rover land on Mars from New York City's Times Square on Aug. 5, 2012. (Image credit: Leslie Mullen)

NASA astronauts on Earth and in space will help usher in 2014 from New York City's Times Square tonight, space agency officials say.

Among the thousands of revelers expected to flood into Times Square for tonight's New Year's Eve celebration will be NASA astronaut Mike Massimino —a New York native —who will be part of the live countdown to the year 2014. "He also will introduce a video greeting from Expedition 36 flight engineer Karen Nyberg, who returned from the International Space Station in November, and from three of the astronauts currently on board the space station: NASA's Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins, and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency," NASA officials said in a statement. 

Astronaut Mike Massimino cameos as himself in a new episode of the CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory." (Image credit: NASA/CBS)

Will Massimino and his fellow NASA astronauts sing the traditional Auld Lang Syne? Or make New Year's resolutions? We'll have to watch and see.

The New Year's countdown tonight will be broadcast live on the Toshiba Vision screen atop the iconic One Time Square building just under the glittering New Year countdown ball. The broadcast runs from 6 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. EST, with Massimino taking the stage at 9:47 p.m. EST to introduce the video messages from space.

"Prominently positioned below the world-famous Times Square New Year's Eve Ball, the dual LED screens will allow revelers in Times Square to see this special greeting from space," NASA officials said.

Earlier today, Wakata radioed Japan's Tsukuba Space Center, which houses the operations center for the station's Japanese Kibo module, to send a New Year's message to his colleagues on Earth. "Happy New Year to you all," Wakata said. "I wish you all the best for this New Year."

The International Space Station is currently home to six space travelers. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov, Sergey Ryazanskiy and Mikhail Tyurin are also aboard with Wakata, Mastracchio and Hopkins. Kotov commands the crew and all six have an off-duty day today, NASA officials said.

Massimino is NASA's most followed astronaut on Twitter (with 1.2 million followers) and has made guest appearances on the hit TV sitcom "The Big Bang Theory." He is a veteran of two spaceflights, both of them to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA's New Year's Eve astronaut appearances aren't the first time the space agency has brought space exploration to New York City's Times Square.

In 2012, NASA broadcast the Curiosity Mars rover landing live in Times Square, drawing at least 1,000 viewers. Two other launches have also been streamed live in the NYC landmark, NASA officials said.

Email Tariq Malik at or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.