NASA astronauts send Fourth of July message to Earth from ISS (video)


The six NASA astronauts who are living off planet at the moment just beamed a special birthday message down to their home country.

Mike Barratt, Matt Dominick, Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Jeanette Epps, Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore each took a turn at the mic, saying a few words about the Fourth of July from their perch aboard the International Space Station (ISS), about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth.

“The Fourth of July always reminds me of the freedoms that we continue to fight for every day, all over the world,” Epps said in the new video, which NASA released on Wednesday (July 3).

four men and two women float aboard the international space station, with an american flag in the backgroundfour men and two women float aboard the international space station, with an american flag in the background

four men and two women float aboard the international space station, with an american flag in the background

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“For me, the Fourth of July is just a reminder of the fortitude that it took for our forefathers and their families to not only have the will to fight for our freedom, but also the courage to do so,” Dyson said.

Barratt came prepared, holding copies of the Declaration of Independence, the first draft of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

“These are sacred words that every American should be familiar with,” Barratt said.

They’re sacred because they provided a framework for this idea of an independent, multicultural democracy to form and actually function,” he added. And we’re still building our more perfect union; everybody knows that. But let’s recommit, and, as we do that, let’s celebrate the Fourth of July and celebrate the great nation that we live in.”

Barratt, Dominick and Epps came to the ISS in early March on SpaceX’s Crew-8 mission. Dyson arrived a few weeks later aboard a Russian Soyuz vehicle. All four are spending about six months aboard the orbiting lab.

Williams and Wilmore are shorter-term residents; they arrived on June 6 on the first-ever crewed flight of Boeing’s Starliner capsule. That mission, known as Crew Flight Test (CFT), was expected to last just 10 days or so, but it has been extended multiple times as NASA and Boeing investigate helium leaks and thruster issues that have cropped up on Starliner. There is currently no target departure date for CFT.

The six NASA astronauts aren’t the ISS’s only current residents. Cosmonauts Nikolai Chub, Alexander Grebenkin and Oleg Kononenko are also living on the ISS, but they did not participate in the July 4 video message.



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