Astronauts have already sat in the halls of the International Space Station for the holidays, if some new videos are an indication.
Crew members David Saint-Jacques (Canadian Space Agency) and Anne McClain (NASA) recorded festive greetings and souvenirs from their orbital perch in a three-minute Christmas video. Nearby, the infamous Elf on the Shelf watches over the space station for several days; the elf tries unsuccessfully to camouflage himself between the chain of national flags behind the crew. (The astronauts will look for elf in a lovely second video.)
"We wanted to talk to you a bit about what the holiday season means to us, both here in orbit and on Earth," McClain announced in a video posted on Twitter on Thursday (Dec. 20). [Elf on a Shelf in Space! Astronaut Anne McClain’s Christmas Photos]
"For me, of course, the holiday season means holidays," adds Saint-Jacques, who grew up in the Montreal region. Sharing a microphone covered with what looks like a red winter glove, he continues: "I remember, as a child, to spend most of it … at my grandparents' house and with cousins, uncles and aunts, and of course my brothers and my parents, and it's always been a time of celebration, the gifts and a lot of family love.This is what I most remember about the holiday season on Earth.And, of course, no school. "
After taking the floating microphone from Saint-Jacques, McClain shares his own memory since childhood in Spokane, Washington; It turns out that things have not changed much in almost four decades. "For me, the holiday season means that our parents line up all the kids for photos in front of the tree that none of us really liked to do either. So maybe it's not so different here when we sit in front of the camera. "
Astronauts show viewers some Christmas gifts – in this case, food wrapped in shiny cellophane. Saint-Jacques displays some Canadian salmon while McClain takes turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and "many desserts," she says, because "Christmas dinner is not Christmas dinner if it's not 50% dessert."
In rapid succession, the astronauts toss the wrapped (carefully wrapped), biscuits, turkey, and other cellophane-wrapped foods into the ceiling of the Japanese Kibo module, where they filmed their short segment.
McClain adds that the crew of herself, Saint-Jacques and four-time Russian spaceflyer Oleg Kononenko is "very lucky to be up here because we have a vision of the planet [like] no other, "with land without borders reminding people on board about the importance of unity and peace.
"It is also a great place from which to remember the whole trait of his own life," adds Saint-Jacques. Looking at the Earth, "I can see everywhere I've been, from up here. I can think of all the people I know and love. In a matter of a day, I can fly wherever they live. "
Astronauts close with holiday greetings in English and bilingual Saint-Jacques in French. McClain makes a quick somersault and Saint-Jacques "throws" up the ceiling and out of sight, hot McClain at his heels.
Most likely, the next duties will be to take all the food they threw there and hope that the Christmas dinner is not crushed. But even so, it's all very fun. After all, in what other situation can adults play food – all for the sake of public engagement in science?
A few hours before the video was posted, the crew of Expedition 56-7, Alexander Gerst (European Space Agency), Serena Auñon-Chancellor (NASA) and Sergey Prokopyev (Roscosmos) made a safe and cool landing in Kazakhstan, where they were launched in the spring heat on June 6. His remarkable 197-day stay in space included the abortion of the Soyuz launch and the leak of a Soyuz spacecraft, which was fortunately located in a portion not needed for landing.
His return to Earth means that the crew of three members of Expedition 58 will work alone for almost two months, until the crew of Expedition 59 joins them on February 28. The arrival of Expedition 58 coincides with the launch of SpaceX's first commercial crew test vehicle scheduled for January 7 in preparation for future astronaut flights.
Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and in Facebook. Original article on Space.com.