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Share the International Space Station with Friends and Family this Holiday Season
 
Expedition 26

Expedition 26 crew members (from left) Catherine Coleman, Commander Scott Kelly and Paolo Nespoli beamed down their holiday greetings. Credit: NASA TV

Commander Scott Kelly

Commander Scott Kelly poses next to a Christmas tree in the Unity Node of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

As people gather with friends and family, the six members of the Expedition 26 crew are spending the holidays in their home about 220 miles above the Earth, circling the globe once every hour and a half in the International Space Station. Getting into the holiday spirit, NASA’s Scott Kelly and Cady Coleman and Europe’s Paolo Nespoli beamed down their holiday greetings to share with everyone on Earth.

› Watch the video

Coleman, Nespoli and Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev are adjusting to life and work aboard the complex, having arrived onboard less than a week ago. Kelly and cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka are mid-way through their five-month mission.

The crew members will have the benefit of some off-duty time for the holidays, but aren’t expecting gifts to arrive until early next year aboard cargo missions. However, Earthlings around the globe still have time to send holiday greetings to the crew by filling out an e-card at:

http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/postcard/

During the holidays the station will be visible over the United States, with some of the best viewing in the Southeast, Midwest and Southwest. The space station is one of the brightest objects in the morning, evening or night sky, appearing as a single point of light moving generally west to east extremely fast – 17,500 miles an hour – and can be seen clearly when weather conditions on the ground permit.

Check for sighting opportunities in your location and how to look for the station:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/

For the latest on what’s going on inside the station, straight from the crew, visit the new International Space Station page on Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/ISS/

Or check out the crew members’ latest tweets at:

http://twitter.com/NASA_Astronauts/

And with the new year approaching, you can print out NASA’s 10th anniversary International Space Station calendar. The 2011 calendar is now available in a small file size to print at home, or in a large size for printing with the help of a professional printer:

› Download Calendar (6.8 Mb PDF)
› Download Hi-Res Calendar (74 Mb PDF)