Jan 16, 2019 | Updated: 03:16 PM EST

Turkey Day In Space—ISS Astronauts Float Through Thanksgiving

Nov 27, 2014 04:29 PM EST


Despite having an international crew, and orbiting in a laboratory 260 miles above the surface of the Earth, astronauts aboard the International Space Station are celebrating today's turkey day with a few of their zero-g versions of traditional Thanksgiving classics-and they're even sharing what their thankful for with the rest of the world.

While only two Americans are on-board, Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts, the team of six will "sit" down for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, in zero-gravity form of course. So what's on the menu, you ask? The in-flight crew tonight will be dining on smoked turkey, candied yams, green bean casserole, cornbread stuffing and cherry-blueberry cobbler. And on top of that, in addition each crewmember will enjoy some personal Thanksgiving favorites thanks to NASA crew that prepared the meal.

"I'm from Tennessee, so I grew up drinking sweet tea - so I've got a little sweet tea as well" Wilmore said in his Thanksgiving video for NASA. "So, we're going to have all of that up here and try to share in the spirit of the season."

The menu may sound traditional, but the requirements for the food to reach space involves quite a bit of high-tech processing. Thermostabilized, irradiated or freeze-dried, the food onboard the International Space Station is designed for a long shelf life and to be kept without refrigeration. Plus, since there are no ovens or microwaves aboard, food is heated using warm water, posing some threat in recreating those perfect piping hot Thanksgiving treats.

But in spite of the less than traditional space-age Thanksgiving celebration, astronauts aboard the International Space Station are joining in on the holiday spirit, and are cherishing what they're thankful for this turkey day. In a video message showing the preparation of their holiday feast, Commander Butch Wilmore shared what he's most thankful for this holiday - our U.S. troops.

"People around the globe that are doing things day in and day out that make a difference for freedom" Wilmore says. "I'm thankful for those people. I'm thankful for their families too."

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