They may be circling hundreds of miles above the United States, but the three American residents of the International Space Station have a plan to celebrate Thanksgiving.
"It's all about the togetherness, but not necessarily the commercialism," said Christina Koch, who is spending nearly a year in space, in a NASA video Monday (Nov. 25).
"In recent years," she added, "I've come to love 'Friendsgiving', and that's a little like what we're having on board here ... although you can say that we're family, too."
U.S. astronauts Koch, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan are just half of the population in space right now, forging strong bonds through recent tasks such as ongoing complicated repairs of a dark-matter experiment and conducting the first all-woman spacewalk.
Also on board the space station are two Russians (Aleksandr Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka) and an Italian (Luca Parmitano). The Americans said they are eager to share the U.S. holiday with their friends, most especially including the food.
The three NASA astronauts on board the station, @Astro_Christina, @Astro_Jessica and @AstroDrewMorgan, share what #Thanksgiving means to them and get a look at what the holiday in space will be like in 2019. pic.twitter.com/fEgZIHIrf7November 25, 2019
"When we think of Thanksgiving, we think of friends, family and food," Morgan said, as his crewmates dug below their floating feet to bring out a cornucopia of space food for the Thanksgiving holiday. The astronauts grabbed the packets out of the air and explained their contents. Among them were vegetables, green beans, macaroni and cheese (just needs water!), cornbread and of course, smoked turkey.
More: NASA's Recipe for Space Corn Bread Dressing
"I want to know who's going to carve the turkey after it comes out of that pouch," Koch joked. The crew may also come up with a way to create their own pumpkin pie out of supplies on board, including cookies, she hinted. (Their full menu will be shared on the NASA website soon.)
Meir, the daughter of American immigrants, recalled Thanksgivings she had as a child: "I grew up in a family with five kids, and as first-generation Americans, I guess my parents had to learn pretty quick how to put on a great Thanksgiving feast."
As she got older, she added, she "lived in various places" and has enjoyed Thanksgiving with "adopted families all over the country."
This year, her Thanksgiving celebration will be literally out of this world.
- Venus, Jupiter and the Moon Gather for Thanksgiving Night Sky Feast
- Video: How Thanksgiving Meals for Astronauts Are Made
- Holidays in Space: An Astronaut Photo Album