Earth’s population rang in 2021 with fireworks and social distancing amid the global coronavirus pandemic last night. Even astronauts have found a way to celebrate their own unique way: Ball drop in zero gravity.
In a video from International Space Station On New Year’s Eve (Dec.31), five of the six astronauts living aboard the orbiting laboratory revealed the ringing of 2021 in space. All they need is a globe.
“We wanted to take the time to wish you all a very happy New Year,” NASA astronaut Kate Robins said in the video. Released by NASA on YouTube.
“One of the most famous New Year’s Eve traditions is to watch the ball fall in Times Square in New York City,” said NASA astronaut Victor Glover, referring to the iconic celebration in which thousands of revelers pack Times Square in New York City to watch the sparkling sight. Drop the ball at midnight to celebrate the new year.
This year, as New York City works to curb the spread of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, officials banned Times Square in front of most of the revelers.
“While many of us celebrate the New Year from home, we have brought this famous tradition into space to share with you,” said NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins in the video.
“Since we are in a state of zero gravity, we have a special development,” added astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
This twisting? In zero gravity, the ball can fall.
“3, 2, 1, Happy New Year!” The astronauts cheered in the video, which they pre-recorded before the actual new year.
“We hope this inspires you to celebrate in your own way,” NASA astronaut Shannon Walker added before this final count.
Glover, Hopkins, Noguchi, Robins Walker are part of the International Space Station’s Flight 64 crew of seven, along with Russian astronauts Sergey Kud-Svershkov and Sergey Rijikov of Roscosmos. Robins, Cod-Sverhkov and Rijikov It launched to the station in October On a Russian Soyuz missile while the rest of the crew Launched to the station in November On SpaceX’s Crew-1 Crew Dragon vehicle. They called the ship Flexi In part, a tribute to humanity’s battle against the Coronavirus.
Celebrating New Years Eve in space is a little more difficult than it sounds, but it’s a day off for the station crew.
“The mission’s 64 crew members on board the International Space Station will witness the new year 16 times today and will take a vacation today on the first day of 2021,” NASA officials said in a statement.
The space station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes or so, making 16 laps around the planet every day, and then possibly the 16th New Year celebration.
“The station orbits the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers per hour), giving the crew the opportunity to see 16 sunrise and sunset every day,” NASA officials said. “Space residents have set their hours in GMT, or Greenwich mean time, and their new year will begin at 12:00 AM GMT on January 1, or five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.”
Email Tariq Malik at [email protected] or follow him at tariqjmalik. Follow us on Spacedotcom, Facebook, and Instagram.