Uploaded on October 25, 2022
Do astronauts share meals, celebrate holidays or do activities together?
2022-10-25 – European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti explains the importance of social activities while in space and their impact on crew cohesion and emotional wellbeing.
Samantha answered a series of questions related to mental health while aboard the International Space Station in support of the CSA’s Space Brain Hack.
(Credits: Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, NASA)
For our crew, but I think it’s the case for most crews, it’s really, really important to get together and share meals at least once or twice a week.
In fact, I would say we eat together on a daily basis on the USOS side of the Space Station.
But at least once or twice a week, we really get together as a whole crew also with our Russian colleagues, and those are usually weekend meals where we, you know, we not only eat together but we really spend many hours just kind of hanging around the table.
We have one galley area with a table in the service module on the Russian segment, and we have one in Node 1 of the US segment, and we usually alternate.
There’s a lot of laughs and banter and fun for -- you know, until late in the evening. Same thing for holidays; we get together for holidays.
We try to put together special meals.
Birthdays are important for everyone, of course, but especially for our Russian colleagues they’re extremely important.
They not only -- we not only celebrate onboard our crewmates’ birthdays, but also all the birthdays of their children.
And in the case of babies who are less than one year old, we even celebrate every, I guess, month day, every monthly anniversary since their birth.
They’ve become really, really good at using what we have here on the Space Station to create cakes, or Space Station cake surrogates.
Obviously, we don’t have an opportunity to bake but, you know, if you can skillfully put together the right ingredients, you can make very delicious space cakes.