Russian canned meat and rye bread will be the main dishes served for Thanksgiving dinner on board the International Space Station. Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and flight engineer Daniel Tani described their plans for Thanksgiving in their message to planet Earth from the height of 354 kilometers.
"We wanted to say happy Thanksgiving. We feel particularly privileged and thankful to be up here on board the station this Thanksgiving," Whitson said. "We're looking forward to our activities this week. We have a busy week with space walks, and we hope that you also are having a great Thanksgiving," she said.
The astronauts showed some of the food for their Thanksgiving dinner. Tani pulled out a can of meat with Russian writings on it saying “Beef and vegetables.” “It is very popular here,” Whitson said. The commander showed a pack of Russian-made rye bread. “This is a very delicious addition to our menu,” Tani said.
The astronauts also said that they were happy to receive U.S. shrimps and Italian meat products. Peggy Whitson and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will have to celebrate Christmas and New Year holidays on board the 220-ton station too.
The space station's three residents have been working almost nonstop since Discovery's departure on Nov. 5.
NASA is still trying to figure out how to fix a jammed joint that is needed to turn one of the space station's two sets of huge solar wings. Even though Discovery's crew returned samples of steel shavings clogging the joint, engineers were unable to ascertain which parts are grinding against each other.
The joint will probably need to be cleaned and fixed, a formidable task requiring as many as four spacewalks, before Japan's lab can fly next year. Astronauts on the next shuttle flight may squeeze in a joint inspection.