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 (opens in new tab).
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 (opens in new tab), 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.
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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.
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.
Email Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.