Who is going to be celebrating the holidays in space?
The ISS astronauts previously made news over celebrating a Thanksgiving feast while working in space, which notably included a foreign group of technicians sharing in the American holiday.
Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough, Peggy Whitson of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency are among those celebrating the December holidays in space, and were also those involved with the previous Thanksgiving celebration.
How are they going to celebrate in space?
The astronauts will have a meal similar to what is served as a #Christmas feast in the West, including turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, green beans, and a fruit salad. Other delicacies will reflect European sensibilities, such as a French Christmas meal of ox tongue, chicken supreme with morels, and gingerbread, which is said to come from Pesquet’s influence and was made by French chefs. Beverages for the Christmas dinner will include packaged apple cider and cocoa, and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Desserts will include a cranberry-apple cobbler and chocolate cake. As with the Thanksgiving meal, the food is freeze-dried beforehand and portion-controlled.
In a released statement, Whitson explained that being up in space helped her develop an interesting perspective on the holiday, as being able to see the Earth from above emphasizes her belief that the human race “should live as one people and strive for peace." In another statement, Kimbrough said that the ISS astronauts want to “wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays.” Pesquet also notably said that he will miss being with his family during the holiday, but will use the time apart to reflect what Christmas meant to him.
The astronauts also released a video online explaining their upcoming celebrations, with Pesquet wearing a Santa Claus hat, which can be seen below.