What’s in a name? For the Thanksgiving holiday, everything. It is an opportunity to reflect and give thanks for people and things, no matter how large or small, that have had a special impact on us and our lives.
This year is a little different than most because we are spending Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays circling 260 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. This unique opportunity causes us to look a little closer at the meaning of Thanksgiving. The things we are thankful for every day of every year still apply. We are thankful for the love of God, our families and friends. We are thankful that our families are healthy and happy. Like most Americans, we are thankful that we live in such a great country and that we have so many brave military people both at home and abroad making so many sacrifices for all of us.
This year, as we spend Thanksgiving away from our homes, we are thankful that we are NASA astronauts and for the privilege of flying aboard the space station. The space station is an incredible vehicle, built and designed by tens of thousands of Americans, as well as people from Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. This multinational effort to design, build and operate the most complex facility ever sent into orbit is truly one of the most amazing accomplishments in the history of mankind. We are proud to be a small part of something that brings the people of the world together for a peaceful purpose. The fact that its main purpose is to perform research that benefits all people of Earth is truly humbling. We have been given an incredible gift and opportunity, and we are thankful.
So on this Thanksgiving Day, we say thanks to all Americans for their support of NASA. Oh, and pass the dehydrated, freeze-dried turkey please!
Rick Mastracchio is a Connecticut native. An electrical engineer by training, he is completing his fourth mission to space. Mike Hopkins is originally from Missouri. He is a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, and this is his first mission to space. Both are active on social media and can be followed at @AstroRM and @AstroIllini and at nasa.gov/station.
Tell us what you’re thankful for on Twitter using the hashtag #TIMEthanks
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