ISS astronauts are eating well this Thanksgiving

NASA astronauts are eating well aboard the ISS this Thanksgiving.
Image: NASA

As people across America gather around the table this Thanksgiving, there are three citizens not on the planet. They are the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). This year, Andrew Morgan, Jessica Meir, and Christina Koch are serving a stint in orbit as part of the Expedition 61 Crew.

Though there won’t be a whole turkey sitting on the table (or anything sitting on the table for that matter) aboard the ISS, the crew is still getting a taste of their favorite foods. A video on the station’s Twitter account detailed how the astronauts will be enjoying their holiday.

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Eating Well

By just looking at what’s on the menu, you’d never know that the astronauts are eating in space. During today’s meal, they’ll enjoy smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, green beans, potatoes, and mac and cheese. Andrew Morgan also emphasized that the trio will enjoy canned jellied cranberry sauce. In true American style, he said, “It’s gotta stay in the shape of the can after you open it up.”

It would certainly be entertaining to see a can-shaped hunk of cranberry sauce floating in microgravity. Nonetheless, the crew will enjoy a meal that’s similar to what many Americans will eat at some point today. Of course, there’s one major difference—the ISS feast will come from a pouch.

Though there’s no way to get a pumpkin pie to the space station in one piece, the crew will also have dessert.

Christina Koch said, “We were also coming up with some idea of how we could create our own pumpkin pie. Maybe with a little bit of cookies stuffed in the pouch of candied yams.”

Not many things can top that as an example of what living in space is like. In case the creative treat doesn’t work out as expected, there will also be a “cran-apple dessert” to fall back on. Considering that astronauts are at high risk for developing menu fatigue, the Thanksgiving spread should be a nice change of pace.

Sharing the Tradition

Although Thanksgiving is an American holiday, the ISS (as the name suggests) is an international venture. The other three astronauts aboard hail from Russia and Italy. However, the American trio will be sharing the holiday, and the associated feast, with them.

During their taxing missions, ISS crews often become as close as family. That isn’t surprising considering that they are the only people you can interact with for months at a time.

In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, the crew also took a moment to reflect on what the day means to them. Jessica Meir said, “Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday personally. I love it because it’s all about the togetherness but not necessarily the commercialism. And in recent years I’ve also come to love, to learn, to love Friendsgiving. And that’s a little bit like what we’re having on board here.”