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NASA astronauts offer Thanksgiving messages from the space station

A day ahead of Thanksgiving, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have offered personal messages for folks back on the ground. The space station inhabitants also revealed how they’ll be celebrating the special day inside the orbiting laboratory 250 miles above Earth.

Happy Thanksgiving from the International Space Station! This year, the crew hopes celebrate by watching football, sharing a meal together, and calling loved ones at home.

The crew shares what they're most thankful for, and what's on the menu for the big day.

— Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) November 23, 2020

Four Americans are currently aboard the space station, including Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Michael Hopkins, who arrived there a week ago aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Kate Rubins, who arrived last month aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, is also part of the current Expedition 64 crew.

In a short video posted online (above), Rubins said it would be “awesome and special” to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving in space with an international crew that includes two Russian cosmonauts and a Japanese astronaut.

“We’re grateful to be up here,” Rubins said, “We’re very thankful for everybody that helps us out on the ground and supports us. I’m personally incredibly grateful that I have these wonderful new crewmates … and I’m just grateful that we are all able to share this moment with you.”

Rubins noted that the Americans on board the station will also be taking time out to speak with family and friends back on Earth.

The three other U.S. astronauts followed with their own messages, while Soichi Noguchi of Japan’s JAXA space agency revealed he’d brought along a few of his own nation’s dishes for the crew’s Thanksgiving meal — food that you certainly wouldn’t ordinarily associate with the American holiday (watch the video to find out what he has in store for them). Hopkins confirmed they’ll also be enjoying the more traditional dishes, albeit space versions.

For two of the Expedition 64 crew members, this isn’t their first time spending Thanksgiving aboard the space station, as both Walker and Hopkins have experienced the holiday in space on previous missions.

The Expedition 64 crew will spend their Thanksgiving in space, but for @NASA_Astronauts Shannon Walker and Mike Hopkins, it's their second Thanksgiving aboard the @Space_Station!

Thanksgiving history on station:

— Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) November 24, 2020

This month, NASA and its international partners have also been celebrating 20 years of continuous human habitation aboard the International Space Station. Check out this collection of astronaut videos showing how inhabitants of the orbiting outpost work, rest, and play.

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