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Greetings from Earth: Postcards to the Orbital Outpost
12.09.05
Expedition 12For five consecutive years – the lifespan of some animals here on Earth – people have lived in space onboard the International Space Station.

Image at right: Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur (right) helps Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev into a U.S. spacesuit. Credit: NASA

For two men traveling around the world while orbiting the Earth every 92 minutes, the five-year anniversary was met with a special delivery.

Astronaut Bill McArthur and Russian Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev of Exp. 12 received thousands of postcards of well wishes from men, women and children across the globe via electronic mail.

From Hope Mills, N.C. to Sao Paulo, Brazil, here are some of the greetings from Earth that reached the men living in space today.

Dear Bill and Valery,

From: Richard,
Salt Lake City, Utah
“Congratulations on the 5th anniversary! I hope we never see a day again where there is not someone in space.”
   
From: Alessio,
Deseio, Milan
“I’m just a little boy from a little town in the north of Italy, but every time you fly over my head, I can see you and our wonderful International Space Station.”
   
From: Joseph,
Abingdon, Va.
“When weather permits, the kids and I look forward to watching you all pass overhead. Each sighting is a reminder to pray for a successful mission and your safe trip home. If you think about it, next time you pass over, tip your wings or blow the horn. ;-)”
   
From: Lee,
Clemmons, N.C.
“Thank you for making our world a little better by showing us our world and what is beyond it!”
   
From: Beth,
Indianapolis
“Congratulations to you and all of NASA on the 5 th anniversary of continuous habitation of the International Space Station! Take care and be safe.”
   
From: Chris,
Alton, Ill.
“It’s crisp, clear and a beautiful day here in the Midwest. The leaves are turning, red and gold. I hope you all can get a view of these colors from up there. Enjoy, and have a safe return to Earth when the time comes.”
   
From: Bill,
Roseville, Mich.
“Congrats on the first five years! Looking forward to the next five!”
   
From: Aleale,
Bologna, Italy
“Volate alti tra i nostri sogni” English translation: “Flown high between our dreams.”
   
From: Martin,
Quebec, Canada
“What you achieve up there in orbit are the milestones of space exploration to the benefit of the future of mankind. You are the chosen ones. Live long and prosper.”
   
From: Stough’s Science Class,
Pemberville, Ohio
“Congratulations on your ride on the ISS 5 th anniversary year! Our students have just seen the IMAX DVD on the station and will look for you in the sky!”
   
From: Sue,
Frankfort, Ky.
“Wow! This postcard to space and to you is too cool! To imagine you are in space, [and] I am here in Kentucky blows my mind! Be ready to share your experiences with us all!”
   
From: Paul,
Birmingham, England
“Keep up the great work you’re doing up there, and be assured that there are a lot of regular people down here watching and listening to your, and the space station’s progress. Wishing you a successful mission and a happy ending!”
   
From: NAES CENTER team,
Spain
“Os deseamos un feliz dia de aniversario y una Feliz Navidad a bordo de la ISS. In English: We wish you a happy day in your anniversary and a Merry Christmas on board ISS.”
   
From: Zari,
Tehran
“You are not alone there. In every country, every city and home, lots of friends are with you. Best wishes and great moments for you there.”
   
From: Luis,
Mexico City
“Thank you for being a hope for humanity. Thank you for your research for the well being of the planet. I salute you for your bravery and sacrifice. I congratulate you for being there in this special anniversary.”
   
From: Duncan,
Winsford Cheshire UK
“We follow the shuttle, space station and Mars rovers with tremendous interest here in the UK. Happy fifth birthday to the station, and good luck with your mission. Cheers!”
   
From: Olof,
Uppsala, Sweden
“The postcard says ‘Wish you were here.’ Honestly, so do I.”


Amiko Nevills
NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston