Thursday, January 13, 2011

Two Christmases for Three Russians -----at the International Space Station

       How many times do you celebrate Christmas?  Just one. Right?

       But no. You may be wrong. The reason?  Believe it or not for three Russians at the International Space Station (ISS), Christmas came twice in a span of just two weeks.

       After joining in the celebrations on December 25,2010, about 400 kms above the earth, the three Russians---Alexander Kaleri, Oleg Skripochka and Dmitry Kondratyev---celebrated their Christmas on January 7,2011 to mark the Russian Orthodox Christmas.

      The Russian Orthodix Church observes Christmas, according to the Julian calendar on January 7,2011.

      The three cosmonauts were off duty on January 7. According to, a well known space website, astronauts heading for the space station choose their holidays which they will celebrate prior to launch.

      On December 25,2010, all the six crew members---three Russians, two Americans and an Italian--celebrated Christmas in space and then ushered in the New Year  while zooming at a velocity of nearly 28,000 kms per hour!

      Father Frost, a Russian Santa Claus celebrated both Christmas and the New Year neither on December 25 nor on January 7.  He combined both the occasions by visiting the Russian mission control centre near Moscow on December 28, 2010.

      To the ISS crew from ``Beyond Moon and Mars,'' wish you all great days ahead.


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