Here's how a French astronaut celebrated Bastille Day 2021 in space

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency celebrated France's Bastille Day holiday in space with festive shirts and a meal with friends on July 14, 2021 aboard the International Space Station.

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency celebrated France's Bastille Day holiday in space with festive shirts and a meal with friends on July 14, 2021 aboard the International Space Station. (Image credit: ESA/NASA–T. Pesquet)

Holidays can be a bit rough on the International Space Station. Astronauts are away from friends and family, and sometimes they have to work through a holiday as they did this Fourth of July while Americans celebrated on Earth. 

But holidays can also be fun, and that's clearly what happened Wednesday (July 14) when French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency pulled out all the stops for his American, Russian and Japanese crewmates on the space station.

"During a 6-month duty tour on the Space Station, we get two to three days off, and since 4th of July fell on a Sunday, July 14th was the next best choice," Pesquet wrote of the festive French National Day in space

Related: Holidays in space: An astronaut photo album

In a series of photos, Pesquet shared a slice of French life aboard the space station, as he and his six crewmates wore T-shirts to celebrate France. He even prepared a French-themed meal, with one photo showing Pesquet perusing a menu written in French with English translations. 

"I contributed some French food, flags, and stereotypes (no real croissant though, bummer ... although I have a very unique croissant patch, courtesy of our SpaceX instructors), and everyone brought their good spirits to the party."

If you zoom in close on the menu, which you can see in more detail on Flickr here, you'll notice it says that "Chef Thomas has cooked warmed up for you the following delicacies" and runs through a four-course meal complete with a fromage (cheese) dish, but sadly, only one type of cheese that's hard to make out, but it comes "courtesy of the Food Lab." That the team on Earth that develops foods for space station astronauts.

In Photos: Space food evolution — How astronaut chow has changed

A look at French astronaut Thomas Pesquet's Bastille Day menu on the International Space Station for his crew's holiday on July 14, 2021. (Image credit: ESA/NASA–T. Pesquet)

Pesquet did seem a bit disappointed he couldn't have a real croissant in space for the day, but appeared satisfied by a patch given to him by SpaceX, which launched the French astronaut and three crewmates (NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide) to the station in April. 

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet took this croissant patch, given to him by SpaceX, to the International Space Station on his Crew-2 launch for the Expedition 65 mission. (Image credit: ESA/NASA–T. Pesquet)

The International Space Station is currently home to seven space travelers from four different space agencies. In addition to Pesquet (of the European Space Agency), Hoshide (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and NASA's Kimbrough and McArthur, the stations' Expedition 65 crew includes Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos.

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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.