Astronauts on the International Space Station are getting a particular go to from an odd spacecraft powered by reindeer and carrying a jolly outdated elf. Sure, Santa has reached the ultimate frontier.
The North American Aerospace Protection Command (NORAD) and Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) have unveiled a new video of Santa’s flyby of the International Space Station, which comes simply in time for Christmas through the station’s 20th anniversary 12 months of crewed missions. You possibly can observe Santa’s journey around the globe at NORAD’s special website here.
“Due to the magic of Santa’s sleigh, he’s making a particular cease on his journey this 12 months, to the Worldwide House Station (ISS),” the video states. “NORAD satellites have noticed Santa on a real path straight to the ISS and the astronauts who’re dwelling and dealing on board.”
Associated: Holidays in space: an astronaut photo album
NORAD recurrently tracks Santa’s journey around the globe every Christmas, however this 12 months is a bit completely different. On Wednesday (Dec. 23), the Federal Aviation Administration gave Santa and his reindeer-powered sleigh an official commercial space license for launches and landings, and a crewed flight to the station. That cleared the skies for Santa’s journey to the area station, the place seven astronauts and cosmonauts are working as a part of the Expedition 64 mission.
Santa is outwardly flying the StarSleigh-1 powered by a Rudolph Rocket, based on the FAA. Rudolph is clearly seen within the NORAD/AGI video, lighting up the depths of area together with his good purple nostril.
The brand new video does have some peculiarities. Just one SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is seen on the station (there are presently two docked there) and up to date Northrop Grumman NG-14 Cygnus cargo ship (which departs the station subsequent month) is nowhere to be seen.
Nonetheless, it is nice to see Santa carrying a spacesuit helmet in his open sleigh, although that seems to be simply an additional precaution. An AGI spokesperson assured House.com that Santa and his reindeer do not actually need spacesuits due to their magic.
Christmas enjoyable apart, it’s a landmark 12 months for the Worldwide House Station. Not solely is the the 20th anniversary of crewed operations (the primary crew took up residence in 2000), however 2020 additionally marked the primary 12 months that astronauts flew to the area station on a non-public spacecraft.
In Could, two NASA astronauts launched to the station on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft throughout a historic check flight. That mission was adopted by the Crew-1 launch on November, which despatched 4 astronauts to the station as a part of the Expedition 64 mission.
Apollo, Skylab, Mir, area shuttle, Soyuz, and @Space_Station crews have had their share of holidays in area. Hannukah socks, makeshift Christmas timber, milk & cookies (a la astronaut), spinning dreidels, and toasting to a brand new 12 months. ‘Tis the season! https://t.co/taUHpgjz9F pic.twitter.com/Iqp6wk4VKrDecember 23, 2020
The station is presently house to NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Kate Rubins, Shannon Walker, in addition to Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Company and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Russia.
The Worldwide House Station is the most important human-made construction in area and has been in orbit since development started in 1998. The primary crew, Expedition 1, arrived on the station in November 2000. Since then, rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts have stored the station repeatedly crewed for 20 years.
Observe Santa’s journey around the globe at NORAD’s special Santa Tracker website.
Electronic mail Tariq Malik at email@example.com or observe him @tariqjmalik. Observe us @Spacedotcom, Fb and Instagram.