American astronauts on the International Space Station are starting this week with a day off today (Sept. 2) to mark the U.S. Labor Day holiday on Earth.
NASA astronauts Nick Hague, Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan have some extra time to call friends and loved ones, or simply relax and look down on Earth through the window. They just might spend time observing the massive Hurricane Dorian from space, like one of their fellow crewmates.
"Even astronauts need to chill," Koch wrote on Twitter today. "Spending this Labor Day weekend reading and relaxing by my favorite window. After a long week packed with science, a spacewalk, and a re-docking, it’' important to recharge your batteries to keep focused on bringing your best."
Even astronauts need to chill. Spending this #LaborDay weekend reading and relaxing by my favorite window. After a long week packed with science, a spacewalk, and a re-docking, it’s important to recharge your batteries to keep focused on bringing your best. pic.twitter.com/EQzpzd14Q9September 2, 2019
Happy #LaborDay from our astronauts celebrating 250 miles above us in the International Space Station, where they perform important scientific experiments that help improve life on Earth and pave the way for our #Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond. ✨ pic.twitter.com/ce2RK934FBSeptember 2, 2019
Hague, Koch and Morgan make up half of the space station's current six-person Expedition 60 crew. Rounding out the team are Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin (the station's commander), cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano. It is Parmitano who has been capturing daily photos of Hurricane Dorian from the space station.
Hague, Koch and Ovchinin launched to the station in March of this year. While Hague and Ovchinin will return to Earth in October Koch is just over halfway through a nearly one-year mission to the space station, the first of its kind for a female astronaut. She'll return to Earth in February 2020, NASA officials have said.
"Happy Labor Day from our astronauts celebrating 250 miles above us in the International Space Station, where they perform important scientific experiments that help improve life on Earth and page the way for our Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond," NASA wrote in a Twitter message today. NASA's Artemis program aims to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.
Morgan, Skvortsov and Parmitano launched to the station on July 20. They'll return to Earth in December of this year.
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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com 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 Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, 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 Space.com 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.