Aug 14, 2018 | Updated: 01:42 PM EDT

How Many Times Did the International Space Station Crew Ring in the New Year? Can You Guess?

Jan 02, 2015 04:07 PM EST

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While their families and colleagues must undoubtedly think about them 24 hours a day, it seems that most residents of Earth never find themselves pondering what life must be like for the elite six astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) just outside our atmosphere. Orbiting the Earth in a giant space-bound laboratory, life can get pretty interesting. And something even as innocuous as the ball drop of a new year can turn into something entirely note-worthy. 

Take for example, how the crew of Expedition 42 rang in the new year of 2015. And guesses as to how many times they were able to celebrate the momentary phenomenon? 

"The Expedition 42 crew orbiting Earth on the International Space Station got the opportunity to celebrate New Year's Eve a whopping 16 times as it circled the globe at 17,500 miles an hour" spokespersons from NASA said in a press release issued new year's day.

Bet you didn't see that one coming. It turns out that while drifting through space may play all sorts of tricks on your internal clock, it does offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of passing through 16 different time zones in a single day. 

Although the ISS crew, which includes NASA Commander Barry "Butch Wilmore, Terry Virts, SA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and Russian cosmonauts Elena Serova, Anton Shkaplerov and Alexander Samoukutyaev, were not able to pop champagne or clank on pots and pans, the team was able to stay up late during their sleep shift and toasted in the new year several times with toasts of fruit juices.

New Year's Day (Jan. 1) was a day off for the crew, who spend their short stints in Earth's outer orbit working on round-the-clock experiment, but after an eventful start to the new year, NASA and the crew have plans of bringing 2015 to new heights. With new missions, new technological advancements, and the arrival of two new experiments when SpaceX's resupply spacecraft arrives on Tuesday Jan. 6, NASA is hopeful that 2015 will continue in its momentum from the vast space achievements of 2014, and so is the crew of the ISS. 

Want to see your New Year's Message from the Expedition 42 crew? Follow the link, and find out exactly how the team rang in the new year, and what they have to say about the momentous start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXvYcIbFVzs&list=PLiuUQ9asub3Qq1AQRirDI-naOwo1H5gaB&index=1

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