Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) just celebrated Christmas in space and are now gearing up for some zero-gravity New Years revelling. Nasa has shared a new video of the astronauts recalling their fondest memories of past New Years celebrated on the Earth with their loved ones.
Nasa astronaut Mark Vande Hei, and Japanese astronaut and station flight engineer Norishige Kanai, both said they prefer watching the first sunrise of the year on New Year's day.
"In Japan, in the morning of New Year's day, people go out and watch the first sunrise. That's pretty popular in Japan," Kanai is head saying in the video. The Japanese astronaut then went on to recall a fond memory of watching the first sunrise of the year with his father, in the "very, very cold early morning in Tokyo".
Hei spoke about how it's a challenge for him to stay awake till midnight because he's a morning person. He said that his idea of an ideal New Year celebration would be "greeting the sunrise on the new year's". He also recalled a cherished memory of spending a recent New Year at a friend's place in Colorado. "Just lots of really good quality time together with people that we really care about," he said.
Nasa astronaut Joe Acaba reminisced about his family's annual New Year's Eve party at his house, where all his friends and family gather to celebrate. Acaba also recollected how staying up late for his father's chilli was a special treat and that he would try and celebrate the New Year this time with some space chilli, although it will have to vegetarian.
"When the clock would strike twelve, we're all together as a family, hugging each other," the Nasa astronaut said in the video. "But the big treat for staying up that late was my dad's chilli."
Space.com reported that Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and station commander Alexander Misurkin, who also currently call the ISS home, may celebrate New Years on 7 January, which according to the Russian orthodox church, is Christmas Day.