ISS Expedition 42 shares Thanksgiving menu: Zero-Gravity flying smoked Turkey


With the holiday shopping season is quickly approaching, but first Americans are celebrating the Thanksgiving day on their backyards, while astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 42 will celebrate the aforementioned national holiday. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) food scientists have created zero-gravity versions of traditional Thanksgiving dishes for this month’s celebration.

The American astronauts that are currently on-board living on the orbiting laboratory 260 miles above our planet’s surface — commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore as well as flight engineers Terry Virts and the Italian-born flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti, will be getting a day off this Thursday, November 27th to celebrate Thanksgiving with floating turkey. The in-flight menu includes the classic smoked turkey in zero-gravity form, candied yams, green beans along with mushrooms, freeze-dried cornbread stuffing and cherry-blueberry cobbler. Additionally, the in-flight crew members may also enjoy some personal Thanksgiving treats.

Watch commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore deliver his Thanksgiving greeting in the video below.

“I’m from Tennessee, so I grew up drinking sweet tea — so I’ve got a little sweet tea as well. So, we’re going to have all of that up here and try to share in the spirit of the season.”

The recently mentioned astronauts will likely share their meals with newly aboard Russian astronauts, flight engineers Alexander Samokutyaev, Anton Shkaplerov and Elena Serova, who have been arrived to the ISS last Sunday November 23rd. However, the Russian astronauts wont be having a day off, but crew members dine together most of the days. The International Space Station orbiting laboratory frequently hosts an international crew, and astronauts generally join in the celebrations of the other crew mates.
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“Station food generally resembles that, for the most part, flown in space since the inception of the Space Shuttle Program some 30 years ago. NASA is researching and developing ways to extend the shelf-life of food needed for deep space missions, such as those to Mars, and to minimize the volume of packaging. The agency also is using the International Space Station as a laboratory to learn how to grow plants, such as lettuce, in space.”

Foods that are aboard on the ISS are either dehydrated or thermostabilized, so it has a long shelf life cycle and can be stored without the need of refrigeration. There are no microwaves nor ovens on board the ISS, foods are heated with warm water.

According to NASA officials, one day Thanksgiving staple and sweet potatoes may be grown in space. Deep-space missions to planet Mars, or even farther manned space exploration, will likely require astronauts to grow their own food. Moreover, sweet potatoes could be an ideal food for these missions. Sweet potatoes has carbohydrates and beta-carotene, which can easily adapt to a controlled environment with artificial sunlight

Thanksgiving day has been celebrated aboard the International Space Station (ISS) ever since the first batch of American astronauts came on board 14 years ago, in 2000 to be exactly. The first Thanksgiving in outer space took place aboard the United States’ first international space station dubbed as Skylab, on the 22nd of November in 1973.


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