NASA astronaut celebrates Thanksgiving on ISS with turkey socks, Earth views

a window view of earth. at right is a soyuz spacecraft. in the center are black socks near the window, with turkey feet on them
NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara posted a view of Thanksgiving-themed socks and a Soyuz spacecraft from the International Space Station on Nov. 24, 2023, the day after U.S. Thanksgiving. (Image credit: NASA/X)

A NASA astronaut's feet cosplayed as a turkey in space.

NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara received new turkey socks for U.S. Thanksgiving on the International Space Station (ISS). She then spent a part of her day off in orbit on Thursday (Nov. 23) showing off the turkey feet at various points around the 356-foot (109-meter) complex.

"Grateful for good perches, and my family who sent me these socks," O'Hara posted Friday (Nov. 24) on X, formerly Twitter. The pictures with the post included a view out the cupola window of the ISS that featured a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, with the turkey feet appearing to cling on the frame of the window.

The crew mainly spent the day relaxing alongside "enjoying holiday treats like chocolate, duck, quail, seafood, pumpkin spice cappuccino and more," NASA officials wrote on Friday of the crew's Thanksgiving activities.

Related: Astronauts celebrate Thanksgiving in space! Here's what they'll eat and what they're thankful for (video)

Another eerie view of O'Hara socks in the Japanese Kibo module showed off the floating feet in front of the airlock, which astronauts recently used to prepare a materials experiment for exposure on the exterior of the ISS. 

If you look carefully in the background of the photo, you can also see a series of flags representing the partners of the ISS, as well as a set of three small globes depicting the moon, Earth and Mars.

O'Hara did not specify on which cargo ship the socks arrived, but presumably it was the SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft that docked with the ISS on Nov. 11 with supplies and experiments, including a laser communications test. O'Hara arrived herself at the ISS on Sept. 16 via a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, alongside cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, both of Russia's space agency Roscosmos.

The ISS Expedition 70 crew also include the SpaceX Crew-7 astronauts, which are ISS commander Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency, NASA's Jasmin Moghbeli, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Satoshi Furukawa and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov. Amid hundreds of experiments, O'Hara and Moghbeli also did the fourth-ever all-female spacewalk on Nov. 1.

Meanwhile on the ground, a new ISS crew assignment was announced in Canada on Wednesday (Nov. 22). The Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) Joshua Kutryk will fly to the ISS with the Boeing Starliner-1 crew in 2025. That will be the CSA's first long-duration mission since fellow agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques flew in 2018-19. 

Starliner is the second U.S. commercial craft tasked with delivering astronauts alongside SpaceX Crew Dragon, although the Boeing spacecraft has been delayed in testing with crews due to technical problems over the years.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: