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SANTA HAS COMPANY IN THE CHRISTMAS SKY



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

December 19, 2003

Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington
202/358-1272

Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281/483-5111



Release: #H03-418

SANTA HAS COMPANY IN THE CHRISTMAS SKY

Santa will have company in the sky above most U.S. cities on Christmas 
Eve. The International Space Station will be visible, weather 
permitting, with its two crewmen snug in sleeping bags secured to the 
walls, with visions of dehydrated turkey dancing in their heads.

Cities from New York to Los Angeles, and most points in between, will 
have the Station pass high overhead, but easily visible, at various 
times Dec. 23-26. Exact sighting dates, times and viewing tips for 
hundreds of towns are available on the Internet at:

http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/cities/index.cgi

NASA astronaut Michael Foale and Cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri will spend 
Christmas aboard the Station, more than two months into a six-month 
flight. A Christmas message from the crew airs on NASA Television at 2 
p.m. CST today.

For the holiday, Foale and Kaleri will enjoy a Christmas, as traditional 
as it can be in orbit, more than 230 miles overhead. They've saved a 
special ration of smoked turkey just for the occasion. They have Velcro 
ornaments, and a space-saving Nomex Christmas tree. The crew has special 
Christmas stockings, filled by Santa before they left Earth, with 
special treats and gifts from family and friends.

On Christmas Day they will see and speak with their families via a 
two-way video linkup. Back on Earth, teams of flight controllers and 
experiment investigators in Houston, Huntsville, Ala. and Moscow will 
spend Christmas with the crew as well.

"Keeping the Station operating well is a 24-7 job," said Jeff Hanley, 
NASA Flight Director. "And while we can't be with our families, we all 
will feel privileged to be here. We are sharing our holiday with our 
crew in space."

The staff in Mission Control will maintain a festive mood during the 
day, Hanley said, and by tradition, they will join together during the 
day to share video greetings with the crew. Foale and Kaleri are 
scheduled to return to Earth April 29.

NASA Television is available on AMC-2, transponder 9C, C-Band, located 
at 85 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization 
is vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz.

For more information about the International Space Station, its crew and 
a special feature on the history of holidays in space, visit:

http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov


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