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Thanksgiving in space: ISS crew will get their turkey

November 23, 2011 |  1:25 pm

NASA's Dan Burbank may be in space, but he won't be missing Thanksgiving dinner.

The new commander of the International Space Station says, "I've got some turkey, some cranberry dressing, stuffing, all of the standard traditional fare for a Thanksgiving meal already lined up and ready to go," with plenty to go around for his colleagues, cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin.

Burbank talks about the holidays and missing his family in a new video from NASA posted Wednesday.

He and his fellow astronauts took only one week to complete a "whirlwind of a hand-over" of the space station on Tuesday, tasks that typically need two weeks. He takes over for former station commander Mike Fossum and his crew. The new crew members have a four-month mission ahead of them.

Burbank is the first U.S. astronaut to fly to the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft since the U.S. retired its shuttle fleet in July. The craft launched Nov. 13 amid a swirling snowstorm from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

There was "basically two arm's length worth of visibility on the way in," he said. But the launch went off smoothly. And, with the handoff done, it's all about settling in.

"Tomorrow will be a day off for us," Burbank says. "We've hardly even had a chance to unpack our things."

Burbank said he missed his family but that he felt closer to them than if he were overseas. He video- conferences with family members once or twice a week, and he says they can watch his gravity-free endeavors most anytime on ISS Live or the Nasa TV website -- if, he noted, they don't get too bored.

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-- Amy Hubbard

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