Three Humans Will Spend Thanksgiving 260 Miles Above Earth

Expedition 57 crew selfie
Serena Auñón-Chancellor (right) takes a group selfie with her Expedition 57 crew mates (from left) Sergey Prokopyev and Alexander Gerst. The three-person crew was gathered for dinner in the Zvezda Service Module, part of the International Space Station’s Russian segment.

Three humans will spend Thanksgiving orbiting about 260 miles above Earth. Another three individuals are spending the holiday in Kazakhstan preparing to launch to the International Space Station on Dec. 3.

The Expedition 57 trio from the U.S., Russia and Germany will share a traditional Thanksgiving meal together with fresh ingredients delivered over the weekend on a pair of new cargo ships. Commander Alexander Gerst from ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor will take the day off in space. Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev will work a normal day of Russian science and maintenance then join his crewmates for the holiday feast.

Gerst called down to European mission controllers today for a weekly tag up then answered a questionnaire about his experiences living in space. Afterward, he continued unpacking inventory from the new Cygnus cargo craft.

Auñón-Chancellor spent most of her day in Japan’s Kibo lab module working on life support gear. Toward the end of the day, she stowed research samples in a science freezer then debriefed ground controllers with Gerst about Cygnus cargo operations.

Prokopyev focused his attention on the Russian side of the orbital lab working on life support gear and unloading the new Progress 71 cargo craft.

Back on Earth, three Expedition 58 crew members from the U.S., Russia and Canada are in final training ahead of their six-and-a-half month mission on the orbital lab. Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko will lead the six-hour flight aboard the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft flanked by NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

This will be Kononenko’s fourth mission to the space station and his second as station commander. McClain and Saint-Jacques are both beginning their first missions to space.

17 thoughts on “Three Humans Will Spend Thanksgiving 260 Miles Above Earth”

  1. You all doing a great job at NASA. I can’t wait to see progress at your research station. I am pleased with your work and encourage further research for future missions. You are all in my prayers. May the angels of Heaven guide you and help you on your mission. Amen.

    1. The astronauts can watch movies, read books, listen to music (or even play an instrument such as a guitar), talk to family and friends and of course do some celestial sightseeing.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving day to the current crew to the currents crew on the ISS 460Kilometers above the Earth . Your all are doing great work for us and for the future generations. It’s fantastic to sent us stunning and beautiful pictures to let us see our blue dot called Earth from wherever your are flying over there. What your and all of the Astronauts already have done and doing for the mankind is priceless and absolutely worthy . Thank you for all the enthusiasm working long hours on every day to keep going what your have to do there. Many greetings from Germany .

  3. Thank you for all the hard work you all do at NASA and the other space agencies. It gives me such hope for the future of our planet. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers every day.

  4. Just Saw you fly by Yeppoon Qld tonight, Take care guys and enjoy the sights have a merry Christmas and a great new year, regards Stu and Jen

    1. KU band return link can go up to 300 mbps, but the forward link is 25 mbps. “Internet” is difficult to quantify since there are other data/experiments/equipment on the same link. If you think of internet as browsing, astronauts have described the connection closest to dial-up speeds. Netflix is unavailable on the space station.

  5. Keep up all the fantastic work you all do at NASA.

    Happy thanksgiving also to the crew who will spend their thanksgiving 260 miles above earth!

  6. My 8 year old daughter and I live in Wyoming and we have enjoyed seeing the International Space Station the last few evenings. She is so in awe with all of this. It’s humbling to know that there are still children out there that enjoy what most take for granted! This is amazing to be able to not only see where the Space Station is but being able to wake up at 4am MST to watch the next crew take off! Safe travels! And thank you for sharing all of this with us!

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