Thursday, November 27, 2008

Astronauts Give Thanks Today in Space

Endeavour /space station today at 8:25 am ET

The crews of the shuttle Endeavour and the international space station will pause today and give thanks as they reflect on both the successes of their mission, and their great new freedom in space.

The space station is truly the new world for several countries - America, several in Europe, Russia, Japan - and like the Puritans did four hundred years earlier, we are now traveling under the stars. Except as we travel today, we cross the ocean of space to unite several countries in support of making earth a better planet to both live and play.

And, as the new Pilgrims did in 1621, the nine Americans and one Russian will share a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal on orbit today about 12 noon EST. On the Menu includes: smoked turkey, green beans & mushroom casserole, candied yams, cornbread dressing, cranapple dessert and tea.

Here, the crew discusses their Thanksgiving meal on SLN Video.

This morning at 8:26 am EST, as the orbital complex flew over the southern tip of South America [image above] at an altitude of 221 miles, former Station Expedition 17/18 crew member Greg Chamitoff who is nearing the end of exactly six months in space, gave a few farewell comments to the ground.

"...we have a beautiful, amazing space station... a spectacular accomplishment... I had a great time for the last six months... Happy Thanksgiving." He went on minutes later to address the several payload countries including Munich, Germany, Japan and Russia as he thanked them for their work together and bid them farewell. Greg launched on STS-124 on May 31st.

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