Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving for everyone?

In the USA, Thanksgiving is a great holiday. Lots of vittles and family togetherness, and a time for reflection (which for many may be unusual). It is also a secular holiday that people of all faiths and backgrounds can join.

Yet there is something disturbing about yesterday's NASA press release:

Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 10:10:30 -0600
From: info@JSC.NASA.GOV
Subject: International Space Station Status Report #58

Report #58
10 a.m. CST, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

International Space Station Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev will enjoy a day off Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday highlights a week in orbit of robotics operations, routine maintenance and early preparations for a shipment of supplies and Christmas gifts.

McArthur and Tokarev are the 12th crew of the space laboratory and will be the sixth station crew to observe Thanksgiving on the complex. They sent holiday greetings to Earth this week and described their plans to feast on irradiated smoked turkey, dehydrated green beans, powdered drinks and a thermo stabilized cranberry-apple dessert.

On Monday, McArthur powered up the station's 60-foot robotic arm and maneuvered

There seems to be the assumption here that all the world celebrates Thanksgiving (and that the ISS is a USA project). A bit too US-ethnocentric a report I think. Perhaps as a US-expatriate working on Thanksgiving I'm sensitive. Anyhow, Tokarev count your blessings. I'd have you working.

(Perhaps both are working; no beers or NFL / high school football 230 miles up)

Lodz, Poland