Six astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will experience the New Year’s Eve 16 times as the spacecraft orbits the Earth once, every 90 minute. With 16 sunsets and 16 sunrises, the spacemen will get to see the New Year’s sun 16 times in 24 hours. Incredible!
The orbital laboratory, ISS, flying 402 kilometres above Earth is a temporary home for 6 crew members including three U.S. astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts and a Japanese astronaut. Being in space during holiday season, the ISS crew members may miss their families, but they have something incredible that nobody other than the six of them will witness this year – experiencing New Year’s Eve 16 times in a single day. So while we earthlings on Earth will wait for the midnight bell to hit, the ISS people up there will cheer up 16 times.
Image source: NASA
Why? Because the astronauts will witness 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets, every day, because the orbital laboratory orbits Earth once every 90 minutes – so for 24 hours, it is a perfect 16. But it gets extra special when we are talking about New Year. Just in case if anyone of the 6 misses one or two new year’s eves here and there. It is pretty cool because that takes like full 16 years here on Earth, and just a day on ISS. And their workspace is one of the coolest work areas we humans have, as of now, because how cool is it to work from above 400 kilometres, where even Earth’s pulling powers are ineffective. It is just serene.
The astronauts aboard ISS are surely in space, away from their homes, and unbounded by earthly rules and regulations, but they too have holiday offs. Before the astronauts take their new year’s day off, they will call off their last weekend of 2017 with some light duties and conferences with their families, and then just sit back and enjoy the new year – sixteen freaking times within 24 hours.