Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Greetings Sent to Earth From Space

by Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil

As anyone who's seen It's a Wonderful Life or read A Christmas Carol knows, sometimes a new perspective on things is all it takes to truly appreciate what we have -- and there's no better time for this than around the holidays. For the six person crew aboard the International Space Station, circling some 225 miles overhead, their unique vantage seems to have instilled in them a new found appreciation for the world outside their window. In their holiday message to the rest of us, the crew speaks of Earth as "a beautiful planet that we should all be thankful to have as our home."

Featured in the holiday greeting sent back down to Earth in the last few days are, from left to right, NASA's Cady Coleman and Scott Kelly, along with Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency. Also on board but not on camera are Dmitry Kondratyev, Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka from Russia.

Along with the simple holiday decorations and hairstyles which can only be described as 'out of this world', the astronauts' count our planetary home among friends and family when it comes to what they are most thankful for -- something we back on Earth, perhaps, do not do enough.

"This is a time when we can all think about being together in treasuring our planet, and we've got a pretty nice view of it from up here," says Coleman.

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