On December 31, the people of Earth erupted with fireworks as well as social distances in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus epidemic in the year 2021. In orbit, the astronauts have discovered a way to rejoice in their unique way: a nil-gravity ball drop. In a New Year’s Eve video from the International Space Station (December 31), five of the six space explorers living aboard the orbiting laboratory showed what ringing in space will look like in the year 2021. Everything they required was the Earth’s globe. “We needed to take a minute to wish everyone a New Year,” stated NASA space explorer Kate Rubins in a video published on YouTube by NASA.

“We have a new twist because we’re in zero gravity,” stated Soichi Noguchi, who works at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency as an astronaut.  The twist? The ball will drop off in zero gravity. “3, 2, 1, happy and prosperous New Year!” chanted the astronauts in a pre-recorded footage ahead of the New Year. “We trust this encourages you to enjoy in your manner,” said Shannon Walke, a NASA astronaut, right before the final count.

Glover, Rubins, Hopkins, Noguchi, and Walker, with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos rounding out this unit, are components of the 7-person Expedition 64 crew at the International Space Station. Kud-Sverchkov, Rubins, and Ryzhikov deployed on the Russian Soyuz rocket at the station in October. The remainder of the crew deployed on the SpaceX’s Crew-1 Crew Dragon spaceship at the station in November. To commemorate the fight of mankind against the coronavirus, they called the ship “Resilience.” It is a little trickier than it sounds to mark a New Year celebration in space; however, it is a rest day for the station’s crew.

“The 7 Expedition 64 members of the crew aboard the ISS (International Space Station) will see New Year sixteen times today as well as take a day off during the first day of 2021,” stated NASA Agency officials in a report. Once every  90 minutes or so, the space station circles the Earth, making Sixteen loops around the world each day, thus the opportunity for the 16 New Year holidays. “At 28,000 kilometers every hour (17,500 miles every hour), the station circles the Earth, providing the crew the chance to see Sixteen sunrises as well as sunsets each day,” NASA officials added. “The space occupants adjusted their watches to GMT, or the Greenwich Mean Time, and therefore will begin their fresh year at 12:00 a.m. GMT on January 1, or 5 hours ahead of the Eastern Standard Time.”

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