It’s the most wonderful time of the year for people on Earth and astronauts on the International Space Station.
While astronauts floating 250 miles above Earth in the Space Station won’t be able to come back home for a holiday visit, they will still celebrate in style onboard the orbiting outpost.
A new video released by NASA this week shows NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet wishing everyone on the planet well during the celebratory season.
Pesquet even wears a cute Santa cap (which stands up straight in the weightlessness of the station) when sending his Christmas greetings.
"I think being onboard the ISS [International Space Station] gives us a slightly different perspective of Christmas," Whitson said.
"Obviously friends and family are important to all of us, but besides funny hats, there is another very important aspect of being on ISS and that’s seeing the planet as a whole," she added. "It reinforces, I think, the fact that we should live as one people and strive for peace."
The astronauts on the station are planning to have a special Christmas meal complete with many of the holiday favorites we get on Earth. The main difference being that the dishes the astronauts eat won’t exactly be fresh.
Pesquet, who is originally from France, plans to share canned chicken with morels, ox tongue and gingerbread with his fellow crewmembers.
NASA also sent up some traditional holiday dishes for their astronauts including cider, hot cocoa, turkey, fruit salad, green beans, potatoes and cornbread stuffing (a perennial favorite of many astronauts).
Astronauts and cosmonauts have been celebrating holidays in space since 2000, the year when the Space Station first became occupied by rotating crews.
At the moment, Whitson, Kimbrough and Pesquet are joined by cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov, Oleg Novitskiy and Andrey Borisenko on the orbiting outpost.