Astronauts on Expedition 66 on the International Space Station are planning a “turkey trot” and special food in honor of Thanksgiving in the United States on Thursday, November 25.
Five astronauts from the seven-person crew have gathered to film a YouTube video posted Monday, November 22 by NASA’s Johnson Space Center, on how they will celebrate the in-orbit vacation.
NASA astronaut Raja Chari has acknowledged that astronauts will still need to get 90 minutes to two hours of exercise to stay healthy during their microgravity months. But to make it fun, crews on the International Space Station (ISS) traditionally call their Thanksgiving treadmill time a “turkey trot.”
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“I have surprise colored headbands for the crew to wear,” he said, joking that the exercise would allow them to drain calories from a Thanksgiving meal, which will include specialties such as than crab bisque, candied yams and cherries. blueberry cobbler, as well as the required turkey.
The crew recognized that it was difficult to spend time away from family and friends on Earth during the holiday season. That said, the astronauts also noted that training before an expedition to a space station can take up to two years and promotes close collegiality.
“For me, Thanksgiving has always been about spending time with the people I love the most,” said NASA astronaut Kayla Barron. The crew, she added, “will invite our fellow cosmonauts to join us” from the Russian side of the space station. As an added bonus, she noted, meal preparation won’t take as long as on Earth, as most of what astronauts eat simply needs to be warmed up or briefly put together.
Expedition 66 commander and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei said his current rotation has been a great experience so far amid the excitement of the arrival of Crew-3 of four astronauts on November 11. (Vande Hei did not discuss a recent Russian anti-satellite test that forced the seven space planes to take cover a week ago, which is a sensitive topic given that Russia is there ‘one of the main partners of the ISS with the United States)
Instead, Vande Hei focused on the collegiality of his crew, saying: “I’m just going to do whatever I can to show how grateful I am to my teammates.” He added, “It’s wonderful to have all these people here, and we haven’t been here together for that long, but wow. It sure is wonderful already.”
The full crew includes Pyotr Dubrovnik and Anton Shkaplerov from Roscosmos; NASA astronauts Chari, Barron, Vande Hei and Thomas Marshburn; and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, named the 600th person in space.
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