Although they are in space, NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station never forget to send their good wishes to the earthlings on the holidays. Now, they have shared a bunch of their beloved Christmas recollections in the form of a new video.
In the video, astronaut Joe Acaba, who is currently stationed at the ISS as the Expedition 54 flight engineer, talked about one of his memorable family trips during Christmas. Acaba mentioned that they all had gone to visit the Turks and Caicos Islands to celebrate the holiday. "We were celebrating my sister-in-law's 5-year battle against cancer. She's doing great. There's nothing better than having the family together, celebrating it together. We love you, Liz," said one cheerful Acaba in the video, which was posted on YouTube by NASA.
Mark Vande Hei, another Expedition 54 flight engineer aboard ISS, also took a trip down memory lane. He mentioned how happy he used to get to see all the Christmas presents on the floor of his home. "It looked to me like the whole floor that the Christmas tree was on was full of gifts. That gave me proof that Santa Claus was real, so I almost got in some fights at school, because people were trying to convince me that Santa Claus wasn't real," said the ace astronaut.
Other than Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, four more astronauts are going to spend this holiday in the space lab this year. Astronaut Norishige Kanai from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, NASA's Scott Tingle, and two cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Expedition 54 commander Alexander Misurkin will be spending this Christmas in space.
ISS astronauts have been celebrating Christmas for the last 17 years and this year will not be any different either. "We [already] have a Christmas tree aboard, and there is a new Christmas tree arriving soon," cosmonaut Shkaplerov had told the media on December 16, reported Space.com. "We have packages and gifts from our families and friends, and packages on board the ISS labeled to open on Dec. 25 for U.S. crewmembers and Dec. 31 for us from Russia," he added.
The very next day on December 17, Shkaplerov along with Kanai and Tingle kicked off their journey towards the flying space lab from a facility in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. They reached ISS on December 19.