Thanksgiving in Space! How Astronauts Will Celebrate Turkey Day

The trio of astronauts currently living on board the International Space Station is celebrating Thanksgiving in orbit, even as three more astronauts prepare to join the crew early next month.

Of the spacefarers currently on the space station, only Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev will be working on the holiday. European astronaut Alexander Gerst and NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor will both be taking the day off. Gerst and Auñón-Chancellor posted a short video message to Earth yesterday (Nov. 21) sending their best wishes from space for the holiday.

"I've already had the honor several times in my life to spend a Thanksgiving together with an American, which always makes it an especially great experience," Gerst said before showing off the crew's food package for the evening festivities. [Expedition 57: A Space Station Mission in Photos]

(Another trio of astronauts will also keep space in mind during the U.S. holiday. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques are all on-site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, preparing for their launch to the space station, which is currently scheduled for Dec. 3.)

The three astronauts currently on board the space station — Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, European astronaut Alexander Gerst and NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor — enjoy a dinner together earlier in November. (Image credit: NASA)

The current space station crew will come together in the evening for a special feast of holiday food shipped up in advance, including turkey, candied yams, stuffing and spicy poundcake.

"Thanksgiving is a time to spend with those whom you love, whoever that might be, and so we'll be enjoying this meal together but then also calling our loved ones back on planet Earth," Auñón-Chancellor said. "From the crew of Expedition 57, from our home to yours, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving."

The crew will be back to work on Friday, according to NASA. And there's plenty of work for the astronauts to tackle, between two new cargo shipments that need to be unpacked and the usual roundup of scientific tasks on the orbiting laboratory.

No word yet if the crew will have leftovers to see them through their work on Friday.

Email Meghan Bartels at or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us @Spacedotcom and Facebook. Original article on

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Meghan Bartels
Senior Writer

Meghan is a senior writer at and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.