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."

Related: Here's What Astronauts Will Eat for Thanksgiving Today
Thanksgiving Night Sky 2019: See Venus, Jupiter & the Moon Together!

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.

"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.

All About Space Holiday 2019

Need more space? Subscribe to our sister title "All About Space" Magazine for the latest amazing news from the final frontier! (Image credit: All About Space)

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

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: