How Astronauts Celebrate the Holidays

To celebrate the holiday season, ASO is bringing you a science-filled 12 Days of ASO Christmas! This will be a series of ‘mini-blogs’, by Rosemary Wills, centered on the science of some of our most cherished traditions. This is the fourth in the series. 

They may not be home for Christmas, but the men and women orbiting hundreds of miles apart from the rest of humanity aren’t letting that dampen their holiday spirit. Astronauts in the International Space Station still deck the halls with stockings and mini Christmas trees, don their favorite festive apparel, and share a proper (vacuum-packaged) holiday dinner. As Space Commander Dan Burbank so eloquently stated in a December 2011 video from the ISS, “our planet is so beautiful, peaceful, and serene when you look at it from space- the most beautiful holiday card you could imagine.”

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Scott Kelly celebrating an ISS Christmas in 2010. Image Credit: NASA.

For more about life in orbit (and all it’s teaching us here on Earth), read about Scott Kelly’s “Year in Space” here: From Molecular Profiling to Mars: Insights After a Year Orbiting Earth.

About the Author

Rosemary WillisRosemary Wills is an undergraduate at UGA majoring in Plant Biology and Science Education. When she’s not writing, coding, or spending time with family, she enjoys growing plants in her windowsill and crocheting science-related things. More from Rosemary Wills.