Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and crew members Peggy Whitson and Thomas Pesquet recorded a video from the International Space Station to explain how they managed to celebrate Christmas and what they had for dinner.

The mission crew is made of six astronauts from three different space stations: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities.

Peggy Whitson celebrating Christmas on the ISS. Photo credit: NASA
Peggy Whitson celebrating Christmas on the ISS. Photo credit: NASA

On the video, Commander Kimbrough, who is from NASA, explains they would like to share what Christmas means to them. He starts and shares how he typically celebrates Christmas on Earth. Kimbrough says that the Holidays for him is about family, adding that they always travel because his family is all over the United States. They often visit Georgia, Colorado or Florida.

For a lot of people, Christmas time is about receiving presents, but Kimbrough and his family live the season as a time to give and share with less fortunate individuals.

Commander Kimbrough ends his statement saying he loves Christmas and all it comes with it: Lights, music, food and everything else related.

Peggy Whitson, flight engineer, also from NASA, says that celebrating Christmas from the ISS is a little bit different than how it is celebrated on Earth, which gives them a unique perspective of the season.

Celebrating this time of the year from space let’s crew members see our planet as a whole and Whitson highlights that we should live as one people and seek to live in peace.

For Thomas Pesquet, also a flight engineer but from the ESA, Christmas is the time of the year when he has the chance to catch up with his numerous family -he has around 25 cousins. Still, the distance will not stop Pesquet from calling his family. The French astronaut also said he would seize the opportunity to reflect on what Christmas means to him. He added that they would celebrate December 25 on board, having a meal together.

Space food can be merry too

The three astronauts show in the video what they had for dinner on Christmas: European space food. Pesquet made sure everyone on board will experience a French Christmas dinner. He explains that a French chef cooked the meals and they included food Pesquet loves since he was a kid and also some recipes from his grandmother.

They had ox tongue for a starter, which is a typical meal from the region Pesquet was born. As the main course, they had chicken supreme and cider, and for dessert, they had gingerbread. The crew drank packaged apple cider and cocoa to feel at home.

On the menu, there were also American foods including turkey, green beans and potato, fruit salad, and cornbread stuffing. For dessert, crank apple and chocolate cake.

The crew took a commemorative photograph of all of them celebrating Christmas. The other three crew members are from Roscosmos: Andrey Borisenko from Russia, Sergey Ryzhikov from Bugulma, and Oleg Novitskiy from Belorussia.

Expedition 50 began October 30, 2016, and ends March 4, 2017. During the mission, the crew will carry biotechnological research, human research, and Earth and Space Science. Also, two tentative spacewalks are planned for this mission.

Source: NASA