An astronaut next to a thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday celebrated by everyone in the US where people gather and celebrate with their families and friends the gratitude and blessings from the previous year. In fact, there are many ways people celebrate the event. Some attend religious services, while others have football marathons in their houses with food as the center of the celebration. 

However, have you ever wondered how astronauts in space celebrate this annual event? 

Thanksgiving in Space

Even when they’re currently outside the earth, astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) shared how they’ll celebrate Thanksgiving. 

A few days ago, the Johnson Space Center, NASA’s human spaceflight activity hub, shared a video from the ISS. 

In the video, the ISS crew shared what they would eat for Thanksgiving, what their hopes are, and what they’re thankful for.

ISS flight engineer, Kate Rubins, shared that the crew would probably share a meal together and talk to their families on earth for the celebration.

Flight engineer Shannon Walker shared that the crew would probably do another American tradition, which is watching football during Thanksgiving. 

Celebrating it outside the earth, however, is not a new thing. 

In fact, astronauts have been celebrating it since 1973 where the crew then completed a “6-hour and 33-minute spacewalk.”

However, the first thanksgiving celebration in space did not include special foods for the event. 

It took twelve years before the ISS crew celebrated another Thanksgiving event in the ISS. They even had more traditional Thanksgiving food such as turkey and cranberry sauce.

The Johnson space crew's thanksgiving on 2019

How do They Store and Eat Food in the ISS

With gravity not working the same way in space as it is on earth, have you ever wondered how astronauts eat there?

Most food and drinks are usually packed to last for months in space

Moreover, like on earth, astronauts have to prepare their food too, although in different ways. 

For example, water from food has to be removed to prevent spoiling, and also, since ISS has limited space for refrigeration. 

Here’s a video of NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan from expedition 62, preparing and eating their food inside the ISS.  


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