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The Challenges of Holiday Dining in Orbit
Expedition 12 enjoys Thanksgiving meal Image above: Commander Bill McArthur, left, and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev share a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Image credit: NASA TV

For crews living aboard the International Space Station, holiday dining in space brings special challenges. Fresh produce, a staple taken for granted here on Earth even during the holidays, is unavailable to the crewmembers most of the time. Instead, the crews rely on rehydratable, thermostabilized and irradiated foods to ensure a balanced and varied diet.

Through these special preservation techniques, Expedition 12 crewmates Bill McArthur and Valery Tokarev were able to enjoy traditional holiday fare such as smoked turkey, green beans, and cranberry-apple dessert on Thanksgiving Day. McArthur and Tokarev can look forward to some special dining treats this Christmas when the ISS Progress 20 cargo craft arrives on Dec. 23.

Members of the media can learn more about space food in our virtual press kit, "A Taste of Space."

+ View Press Kit
+ Space Food Gallery
+ Expedition 12 Crew Menus
+ View the crew's Thanksgiving message (Windows Media)
+ View McArthur's tour of the Thanksgiving meal (Windows Media)
+ View the crew's Christmas and New Year's message (Windows Media)