Thanksgiving can be a complicated holiday for those on Earth. Traditionally, it’s intended to be a time to express gratitude for the harvest. In America, it’s also a celebration of colonization – for better or worse. But what do you do when you’re an American living in outer space and the craving for cranberry sauce comes on hard? As it turns out, astronauts at the International Space Station are more than prepared to feast on Thanksgiving – with a little space-age twist, of course.
In the video above, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren show off their Thanksgiving menu, which includes many familiar items, at least by name: smoked turkey, candied yams, corn, and potatoes au gratin. The difference, of course, is that they don’t have turkey smokers and convection ovens in outer space. All of the holiday dishes the astronauts will feast on this Thanksgiving come out of little plastic packets, and much of it requires rehydrating before it can be consumed. (Take care as you watch the video, because you’re certain to salivate on yourself in complete and utter envy as you watch these guys sample a preview of the big meal.)
Once upon a time, “space food” was an alluring concept back home on planet Earth. Kids clamored at the opportunity to nosh on freeze-dried ice cream, and canisters of Tang – a sugary neon-orange drink mix – flew off the grocery store shelves. There’s no telling whether they still stock those treats aboard the ISS these days, but there’s something to be said for at least attempting to bring some of the comforts of home to the folks who are spending months on end away from their friends and family. Lindgren is scheduled to return home in just a few weeks, ending a six-month assignment in space, and Kelly – the man who has spent more time living in outer space than any other Earthling – is in the ninth month of a year-long mission.
The clear pouches of scary Thanksgiving foods probably won’t sate any home sickness, but they are good for a laugh. The astronauts will enjoy a “day off” for the holiday, kicking back with some football just like here on the third rock. Hopefully, the astronauts will also dine on a fresh-grown side salad with their Thanksgiving meal, thanks to the new hydroponic system.
Via USA Today
Images via NASA via screenshot