No Fruitcake Required
While people on Earth were exchanging cards and fruitcake this holiday season the Expedition 18 crew aboard the International Space Station received similar salutations, except for the fruitcake.
The residing Expedition 18 crew, which is comprised of Commander Michael Fincke and Flight Engineers Yury Lonchakov and Sandra Magnus, was wished happy holidays electronically by people from all corners of the globe. Among the 8,521 messages sent to the crew during the holiday season were warm holiday greetings, questions about alien sightings and even some marriage proposals.
-- "Just because you are not among your love ones, it doesn’t mean you are not thought about in their hearts every moment of every day! Unusual as it may be where you are, I hope you have a joyous and successful mission," from Mahopac, New York.
-- "Twinkle twinkle little star we think of you, although you are far," from Herent, Belgium.
-- "Wishing you the best over the festive season. Thanks for your courage and the commitment to developing the future for mankind," from Durban, South Africa.
-- "We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. We miss you on Earth, and hope you can come home soon. Hope the Earth looks beautiful on Christmas Eve. Take some photos and send them to NASA. Good luck and best regards," from St. Louis, Missouri.
-- "Hope you have a Merry Christmas. In my opinion you have the best present that anyone could have. Being on the space station with the spectacular views of the Earth. Seasons greetings :D" from Port Talbot, Wales.
The Expedition 18 crew also sent its own holiday greetings down to Earth in the form of a video message, again, minus the fruitcake.