| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Astronauts celebrate Thanksgiving in space aboard ISS with special NASA menu

Expressing gratitude from high above! NASA released a video on Thursday featuring astronauts marking Thanksgiving in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Members of Expedition 70 arranged a Thanksgiving dinner and extended their wishes to everyone while orbiting Earth at an altitude of 200 to 250 miles.
“We will be celebrating Thanksgiving together in space, but our thoughts are with our families at home and everyone else on Earth celebrating Thanksgiving,” Commander Andreas Mogensen said in a video shared by NASA. “We’d like to take this opportunity to share this message on Thanksgiving from space with you.”
To make the Thanksgiving dinner more special, a package of holiday food was shipped to the ISS by the SpaceX CRS-29 Dragon resupply service mission, which took off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on Nov 9. It reached the ISS on Nov 11.

The festive treats were shipped in foil and plastic packaging which are generally refrigerated or dehydrated. The ISS crew prepares these meals by simply adding water and heating in a suitcase-sized food warmer.
For those who are thinking this is meagre, well, this is much better than what Yuri Gagarin used to eat in space. During his trip to space in 1961, he used to eat edible paste off tubes to feed himself. Since then, a lot of developments have taken place in the type of food astronauts eat in space.

This year, NASA’s Thanksgiving menu included quail, seafood, pumpkin spice cappuccino, rice cake and mochi.

First Thanksgiving in space
This was not the first time that NASA has organised a Thanksgiving feast for its astronauts up in space. It was celebrated in 1973 by the crew of Skylab 4. Astronauts Gerald P. Carr, Edward G. Gibson, and William R. Pogue celebrated Thanksgiving in space on 22 Nov 1973.

On that day, their seventh of an 84-day mission, Gibson and Pogue completed a 6-hour and 33-minute spacewalk, while Carr remained in the Multiple Docking Adaptor with no access to food. All three made up for missing lunch by consuming two meals at dinner time, although neither included special items for Thanksgiving.

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