2015 – a great year in space: RT looks back as ISS crew sends New Year greetings
Tim Kopra, who spent 60 days on the ISS as Flight Engineer of Expedition 20 in 2009, thanked all the ground teams for their flight support, while Major Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to be part of an official UK space mission, wished “everybody down on our beautiful planet a Happy New Year and a fantastic 2016.”
“Happy New Year to all the people of planet Earth,” Expedition commander Scott Kelly said in conclusion, after catching a flying microphone from Peake.
Indeed, 2015 has been a busy and event-packed year aboard the International Space Station. Contrary to popular belief, life in space is never boring, as each member of the current ISS crew has produced enough fun for “everybody down.”
In December, Peake dialed a wrong number while trying to reach his relatives. A lady in the UK Peake say: “Hello, is this planet Earth?” Far from a prank call, but a phone call from space is not something you get every day.
I'd like to apologise to the lady I just called by mistake saying 'Hello, is this planet Earth?' - not a prank call...just a wrong number!— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) 24 декабря 2015
Other astronauts performed some remarkable experiments – such as juggling oranges in zero-gravity and coloring water to test an ultra-HD camera.
The ISS crew has also been taking advantage of their unique location, making absolutely surreal photos and videos of Earth as well as the space station.
Space is also the best and safest place to admire hurricanes, it turns out.
And deserts, too.
This year also had room for new space records.
And the first Twitter chat with spacelings.
Tweeting from space: Astronaut Scott Kelly talks about life aboard ISS in NASA’s 1st Twitter chat: Astronaut Scott… http://t.co/ZjWZEl20NW— AnonyMiss (@AnonyMiss_) 2 августа 2015
Astronauts aside, 2015 was also a year for more earthly contributions to space exploration. In March, an Oregon craft brewery announced that space fans would have a chance to taste its out-of-this-world beer. The very special batch of imperial stout was made using brewer’s yeast that successfully returned from the ISS last fall.