Members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 64 crew this week offered their fellow earthlings a message of hope at the end of a year like no other.
NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Kate Rubins, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi gathered together on the station to deliver a short address on Tuesday, with each one taking the microphone to say a few words.
“In November, Victor, Shannon, Soichi, and I arrived here aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon that we named Resilience,” Hopkins said.
Acknowledging the impact of the ongoing pandemic, he added: “We selected that name in tribute to people around the world and to the team that help make our mission possible during a year that changed all of our lives. We’d also like to remember everyone that we’ve lost this year.”
Glover added that “the resilience of the human spirit is something we can truly celebrate in this special season.”
At the end of the message, the five astronauts drifted upwards out of shot, with the final seconds of the video revealing that for all their sophisticated space gear, astronaut socks are in fact just like earthling socks.
Hopkins, Glover, Walker, and Noguchi made history in November by flying on the Crew Dragon’s first operational mission following a successful demonstration flight over the summer crewed by NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.
This yea,r NASA and its international partners have been celebrating the space station’s 20 years of continuous human habitation.
Orbiting about 250 miles above Earth, the 357-foot-long space-based laboratory flies around our planet every 90 minutes, traveling at an astonishing 5 miles per second.
If you’re in the right place at the right time, and the skies are clear, you can easily see the space station pass overhead — no telescope or binoculars needed.
To date, more than 240 individuals from 18 countries have spent time on the International Space Station, and in July NASA celebrated its 300th spacewalk involving American astronauts.