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Thanksgiving in Space: For Astronauts, It's a Cosmic Friendsgiving!

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."

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NASA astronauts Jessica Meir (left), Christina Koch (center) and Andrew Morgan will celebrate a "Friendsgiving" in space for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on the International Space Station this Nov. 28, 2019. (Image credit: NASA TV)

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.

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"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.

Follow Chelsea Gohd on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.