At the moment the ISS is home to six astronauts, three of whom are from Nasa. The three Nasa astronauts – Mark T Vande Hei, Joe Acaba and Scott Tingle – who currently call the space station home, got to enjoy a long weekend as they generally get weekends off and since Christmas day fell on a Monday this year, they got to relax with a three-day weekend and call their families, Nasa spokesperson Dan Huot told Space.com.
The astronauts kicked off their Christmas weekend by watching the latest Star Wars movie – The Last Jedi – in what was probably one of the coolest premieres the movie has had this year. Hei, who serves as the space station's flight engineer, posted a photo of the exclusive movie premiere on Twitter. The photo shows how the astronauts strapped themselves down in "bungee chord chairs" to watch the movie, substituting the traditional popcorn with "drink bags".
Hei tweeted out another photo on Christmas day that shows him wearing a Santa hat and the ISS decorated with Christmas stockings. The three new crew members who arrived at the ISS on 19 December, also travelled with Christmas gifts for their colleagues and a new tree.
"We [already] have a Christmas tree aboard, and there is a new Christmas tree arriving soon," Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov told reporters during a prelaunch briefing on 16 December, Space.com reported.
Space.com cited Huot as saying that the astronauts would also likely share a special Christmas dinner in space, although the menu is yet to be revealed. Last year, the crew reportedly feasted on a meal of turkey, corn-bread stuffing, gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa.