Astronauts didn't get a big turkey and mashed potatoes -- but lots and lots of goop.
Astronauts celebrated Thanksgiving aboard the International Space Station on Thursday — albeit in a very unconventional fashion.
Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren, the two American astronauts on board, got a welcome day off from hours of experiments, according to a Washington Post report.
But they didn’t get to roast up a giant turkey with stuffing or whip up some mashed potatoes. Instead, they got smoked meats and bags of mush — a treat nonetheless.
Still, the meal resembled the familiar Thanksgiving fare of smoked turkey, candied yams, corn, and potatoes au gratin.
Kelly is in the midst of a year-long mission on ISS, a record for a NASA astronaut. He has an identical twin brother, Mark, who is also an astronaut, and he tweeted him a picture of his feast back on Earth — perhaps to as a friendly little taunt. With fewer than 100 days left in his mission, Scott Kelly will be able to enjoy food on Earth fairly soon.
The two brothers are undergoing tests throughout the year so that NASA can compare the two of them and see the effects on space in order to better understand how it impacts the human body.
The following is a portion of a NASA news release from 2013 describing the Thanksgiving food:
“Six crew members will enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner floating aboard the International Space Station in orbit 260 miles above Earth. Their menu will include traditional holiday favorites with a space-food flair, such as irradiated smoked turkey, thermostabilized yams and freeze-dried green beans. The crew’s meal also will feature NASA’s cornbread dressing, home-style potatoes, cranberries, cherry-blueberry cobbler and the best view from any Thanksgiving table. … NASA food scientist Vickie Kloeris has been involved in space food development and production since 1985. She has managed the space station food system since January 2000 and is responsible for every aspect of the station’s food system including all U.S. flight food shipments and new food item development. She also manages the food systems laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. NASA is researching and developing ways to extend the shelf-life of food needed for deep space missions, and how to minimize the volume of packaging. The agency also is using the International Space Station as a laboratory to learn how to grow plants in space.”