Astronauts on the International Space Station have also taken part in the Thanksgiving Day celebrations, and have shared their preparations with the rest of world, in a heartfelt video greeting. The footage was broadcast by NASA astronauts Kjell Lingren and Scott Kelly, who are currently aboard the ISS.
In the message, Lindren expressed his gratitude for being selected to take part in such ground-breaking work in the orbital lab. More recently, he has initiated a process through which flowers will bloom on the space station, for the first time in history.
The Vegetable Production System known as Veggie has been employed before for growing red romaine lettuce, but now it’s being used for a much more complex purpose.
More precisely, researchers are trying to promote the germination of zinnia seeds, which could be the first step in making the ISS much more self-sustaining and independent, through the production of edible food within its confines.
Lindgren extended his thanks towards all the NASA employees back on Earth, who make it possible for astronauts to remain safe and sound despite living in such exceptional conditions.
Scott Kelly, who has been the commander of the ISS ever since November 25, 2010, also took the time to greet all his loved ones, and to mention that he feels blessed to be an American citizen, because this has provided him with the opportunity to live his dreams, and enjoy freedom that other individuals are deprived of.
He also referred to the distressing events which have rocked the world in recent months, offering his sympathies to the victims and their families.
Alongside Russian astronaut Mikhail Kornienko, Kelly is now part of a one-year study meant to assess the far-reaching effects of long-term spaceflight on physical and mental health.
On October 16, the ISS commander broke a historic record, for the most significant cumulative amount of time ever spent in outer space by an American citizen.
He continued his trailblazing journey, on October 29 becoming the record-holder of the longest spaceflight achieved by an American, after completing 216 consecutive days in space. Even more impressively, by the time he lands back on Earth, on March 3, 2016, he will have been living on a spaceship for 552 days.
On Thanksgiving Day, the astronauts revealed that they would take advantage of the holiday so as to unwind, watch football and have a traditional meal, alongside their Russian fellow crew members.
According to Dan Huot, NASA public affairs officer, the menu has remained virtually unchanged ever since Thanksgiving Day was first celebrated on the ISS, back in 2000.
More precisely, it would consist of dehydrated smoked turkey, rehydrated corn, as well as gratinated potatoes, followed by candied sweet potatoes for dessert.
It must be noted that astronauts had the opportunity to receive special food from Earth, but apparently none of them has made such demands, and instead everyone has settled for the pre-cooked meals that have become customary in recent years.
At the end of the festive video, Lingren and Kelly were seen sampling their Thanksgiving Dinner and doing zero-gravity flips, humorously noting, after just one bite of meat, that they had already used up their ratio, as a result of dire turkey shortage.
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