NASA astronaut proclaims ‘Happy Hanukkah’ from space
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High holiday

NASA astronaut proclaims ‘Happy Hanukkah’ from space

Jessica Meir shows off her holiday cheer with menorah-festooned socks floating 408 kilometers above a cloud-draped Earth

Photo taken by American Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir from the International Space Station on the first day of Hanukkah, December 22, 2019. (Twitter screen capture)
Photo taken by American Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir from the International Space Station on the first day of Hanukkah, December 22, 2019. (Twitter screen capture)

It’s not every day that a Hanukkah greeting comes from 408 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

American astronaut Jessica Meir, daughter of an Iraqi-Jewish father, took advantage of the fact that she was floating in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station on Monday (or Sunday, or possibly Tuesday; the ISS sees a sunrise every 92 minutes) to tweet a “Happy Hanukkah” to her 127,000 Twitter followers.

“Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate it on Earth!” she wrote above a photo of herself floating atop windows offering a spectacular view of a cloud-draped Earth below.

And the socks. Jessica Meir, astronaut, marine biologist, comparative physiologist, with a resume that includes Harvard and Brown and NASA, unabashedly revealed to the world that she had taken with her — into space — holiday socks festooned with drawings of stars of David and Hanukkah menorahs.

International Space Station (ISS) crew member, NASA’s US astronaut Jessica Meir waves as she boards the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft before its blasts off for the ISS, on September 25, 2019 at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Maxim Shipenkov/Pool/AFP)

Meir isn’t the first NASA astronaut to showcase Jewish roots in space-based Hanukkah messages.

In 1993, MIT professor and NASA astronaut Jeff Hoffman produced a video broadcast back to the Earth from the space shuttle Endeavor in which he spun a dreidel in zero gravity and showed off his travel-size menorah.

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