Michele Perchonok, a NASA food technologist, explains Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008 at Houston's Johnson Space Center how astronauts would prepare a helping of green beans while in space.
Astronauts raised plastic cups of iced tea and toasted the Thanksgiving holiday before eating a traditional dinner of smoked turkey, cornbread dressing and candied yams at the international space station.
"To Thanksgiving. Wishing everyone on Earth, and off Earth, a good Thanksgiving," said Endeavour astronaut Donald Pettit, holding iced tea in a makeshift cup he had made from plastic covers of shuttle reference books.
Astronauts normally drink from pouches using straws, to prevent liquids from spilling out in weightlessness, but Pettit wanted to show that they could sip from cups.
The seven Endeavour astronauts and three space station crew members ate their Thanksgiving meal at the joined shuttle space station complex, 350km above Earth. They spent an off-duty morning in which they talked to friends and relatives on the ground or just looked out the window.
"Just that ability to look out the window and look down on this beautiful planet that we live on is a source of thanks that we all have," Endeavour commander Christopher Ferguson said during a series of television interviews.
Differing schedules and chores usually prevent shuttle and station crews to eat together. Crew members took several precautions for the meal - keeping fire extinguishers and gas masks in the dining area, for instance.
Despite the turkey with trimmings, astronaut Robert "Shane" Kimbrough said he still missed being with his family on the holiday.
"I think we're all ready to see our families," Kimbrough said.