What do they drink in space for the New Year – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Hero of Russia, cosmonaut Andrei Borisenko, told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondent how New Year is celebrated in orbit. What they eat, what gifts they give about the cosmic Santa Claus and the Snow Maiden.

Andrey Ivanovich, several years ago you happened to celebrate the coming of the new year far from the Earth. And several times. How are preparations for this holiday on board the International Space Station?

Andrey Borisenko: There is no such thorough preparation as there is on Earth. The cosmonauts do not have time for this before the flight. But gifts – yes, we buy. Very symbolic – small in size and weight. Because the parameters of personal items that we can take into space are severely limited. Take, for example, magnets, postcards.

But what New Year is without a tree and Santa Claus?

Andrey Borisenko: And she is on board. Artificial, small, fireproof. On the Russian segment, the ISS is mounted on the ceiling, top down. This is not for the sake of extravagance, but simply because it is more convenient. Doesn’t interfere.

And Santa Claus is. One of the cosmonauts enters into his role and distributes gifts from a pre-stored bag. And it happens that if a woman turns out to be in orbit on New Year’s Eve, Santa Claus comes with the Snow Maiden. I just got on such a New Year, the American astronaut Peggy Whitson became the Snow Maiden.

As for the time, they can celebrate several times, depending on where the cosmonauts are from and what standard time they have in their homeland.

What are you eating?

Andrey Borisenko: Foods are taken from the normal diet. But each crew, of course, is trying to save something special. We had black caviar.

Why black? Because all products that enter the ISS must comply with certain safety rules. And a Russian company specializing in the manufacture of space food has learned how to pack caviar so that it can withstand the conditions of space flight and long-term storage.

Taking champagne on the flight?

Andrey Borisenko: Alcoholic drinks are prohibited on board. Not at all because they are afraid, but what if one of the astronauts drinks too much. All astronauts are extremely responsible and motivated people, and they perfectly understand what can and cannot be done in space.

The reason is different: vapors of alcoholic beverages negatively affect a number of on-board systems. It is unacceptable. Instead of champagne, we drink coffee, juice, tea, other non-alcoholic drinks – whoever likes what.

It is customary to feed the flight participants with something purely cosmic: what has grown in orbit?

Andrey Borisenko: So there are no greenhouses and greenhouses in orbit yet! Yes, experiments on growing something are periodically carried out. On my first flight, I took part in an experiment on growing wheat.

In the second, foreign colleagues were invited to “take a sample” from their grown lettuce. We ate several leaves. I liked it, you can’t tell from the earthly. But the consciousness of eating a salad grown in space gave me an emotional boost. I felt like a man who stepped forward, a sort of Martian.

And so on the ISS there is quite a variety of food, we eat according to a cyclical 16-day menu. And one of the most popular dishes is cottage cheese with nuts. There are also additional, so-called bonus containers, in which not only delicacies, but some other products, but in small quantities. We also receive parcels from our relatives with cargo ships. My wife usually puts me candies (I like dried fruits in chocolate), lemon, strawberry, cherry, dark chocolate jam. In general, a long-lasting treat.

As for space food: there was some hype that the cargo ship did not make it. Did those in orbit have to tighten their belts?

Andrey Borisenko: This is nonsense that some bloggers – big “experts” in rocketry, and at the same time in vaccination and everything else, are replicating.

Photo: from the personal archive of Andrey Borisenko

It so happened that I missed one cargo ship on each flight. It’s okay: there are reserves. We quickly conduct an audit of products, clothes (clothes in space are not washed, but thrown away). Everything is. Breathing is also no question, since the life support system is designed in such a way that there can be no lack of oxygen.

With water – yes, dependent on the Earth. But there is a margin. At the worst, there is a system for regenerating water from urine, which allows you to get drinking water. This is a question of aesthetics, but in experiments it was really used for food. Normal water.

What happened to your cargo ships?

Andrey Borisenko: I’ll laugh: an amazing thing happened to the cargo ship sunk into oblivion from my first flight. The ship fell into the taiga, and one of the journalists, having talked with one of the cosmonauts, wrote that one sausage was saved.

I am telling you how it really happened. To my colleague Alexander Samokutyaev, his wife wanted to send a stick of smoked sausage. I put it in a parcel, but for some reason they didn’t accept the sausage. So the sausage did not fly into orbit and therefore remained intact. And in the cosmonaut’s family a custom took root: whoever of his relatives and friends was afraid to fly on airplanes, they cut off a piece of that same sausage. For the treatment of fear.

For ten years you have been proving that you are healthy to get into the cosmonaut corps.

Andrey Borisenko: I dreamed of flying from early childhood. He entered the Leningrad Military Mechanical Institute, graduated from it. Applied to the cosmonaut corps. And … they didn’t. Then, indeed, ten years he proved that he was healthy.

Then I was faced with a choice: either I need to change desires, or try to achieve a dream. I was fortunate enough to meet a very experienced medical expert who suggested that I participate in a long-term health research program.

Ten years later, he wrote a positive opinion. Then again there was a commission, again tests. And I was accepted into the cosmonaut corps! All these 10 years I have been working in space: in the MCC, where I went from an engineer to a shift director of a flight.

Therefore, I can advise everyone: do not give up, believe in the dream. And every day take steps towards her. This is the only way to win. Happy New Year!

Source: Российская Газета by rg.ru.

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