by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Dec 24, 2012
Expedition 34 is the latest crew to spend Christmas aboard the International Space Station. The six-member crew, Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Chris Hadfield, Tom Marshburn, Roman Romanenko, Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin, will spend a light-duty day relaxing, sharing a traditional meal, opening gifts and talking to family members.
Ford sent holiday greetings to the world from the Destiny laboratory in early December. Hadfield and Marshburn offered their holiday wishes from Russia before launching Dec. 19 to join Ford and his crewmates.
Hadfield, Marshburn and Romanenko arrived on Dec. 21 to spend Christmas with their orbiting crewmates. Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin already spent Thanksgiving in space. Ford sent down a Thanksgiving video message on Nov. 21. NASA food scientist Vickie Kloeris also discussed preparing holiday meals for the station crew members.
Since 2000, 13 Expedition crews have celebrated Christmas in space. An array of station crew members from all over the world have spent the holiday season orbiting the Earth.
For 13 years, Americans, Russians, Europeans, Japanese and a Canadian have been sharing a Christmas meal, opening gifts and talking to family members while soaring in outer space. The crews get in the holiday mood by setting up decorations in the station.
The first station crew to spend Christmas in space was Expedition 1 in 2000. Commander William Shepherd and Flight Engineers Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev also spent the first Thanksgiving on the space station. The trio spent 136 days aboard the orbital laboratory.
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