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Greetings from Earth Brighten Station Crew's Holidays
12.21.07
More than 6,000 greetings had been sent to the Expedition 16 crew of the International Space Station through a link on the nasa.gov home page by Friday afternoon, and the number continued to grow at an increasing rate.

Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Dan Tani Image at Right: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, left, station commander Peggy Whitson and astronaut Daniel Tani get into the Christmas spirit onboard the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA TV

+ View a Holiday Message From the Crew

The greetings came from just about everywhere – South Carolina, New South Wales in Australia and the South Pole.

If those greetings had been sent by Christmas cards, the postal sacks would have weighed about 200 pounds. Just the postage would have cost more than $1,500. And there were still three days until Christmas.

Most of the electronic Christmas cards to Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Dan Tani were touching, admiring and heart-felt. They included:

-- "Merry Christmas, brave travelers. May you all enjoy the peace and joy of the season," from Australia.

-- "I've watched every breathtaking space walk and wish I were there," from St. John, Kan.

-- "Happy extra-terrestrial holidays," from Finland.

-- "Thanks to all of you for keeping our sights toward the heavens and giving us the gift of the future," from Chicago.

-- "Best regards from so many miles below," from Poland.

One asked if the Earth looked brighter from space because of all the Christmas lights. "It certainly seems a lot brighter down here."

Because of all those greetings, the space station is a brighter place too.