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Astronauts celebrate Thanksgiving aboard the International Space Station

The crew will get to skip the Thanksgiving Day turkey prep as their meal is pre-packaged.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — While you gather around the Thanksgiving table with your loved ones, the Expedition 66 crew aboard the International Space Station is finding ways to celebrate the holiday away from home.

"For me, Thanksgiving has always been about spending time with people I love the most," astronaut Kayla Barron said.

Even though the crew is not back on Earth with their family, they're still making time to let them know they are loved.

Astronaut Raja Chari says his family has a tradition of going around the table and saying what they are thankful for. This year he'll be participating via a phone call from the orbiting laboratory. 

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei also took the time to let his family know that he appreciates their support.

"I just want my family to know how much I appreciate their love and support. Even though I'm gonna be far away, moving really fast, my heart is definitely with them," he said.

The five-member crew is working on Thanksgiving but still plans to share a meal together. They're even inviting their Russian cosmonaut colleagues aboard the ISS to make the celebration an international affair.

Not much preparation will need to go into the crew's meal since all they'll really need to do is heat it up, open its packaging or add water to it before chowing down.

"The food is actually fantastic up here and we're very much looking to some special things that have been sent for us," Tom Marshburn said.

Among the figurative table will be crab bisque, roasted turkey, potatoes, candied yams, and cobbler for dessert. 

And after the crew has finished dining, Chari says he's hoping to rope them into space's version of a turkey trot on the International Space Station's treadmill.

All in all, the crew says they're grateful for each other and their own little Thanksgiving Day family.

"I'm just gonna do whatever I can to show how thankful I am for my crewmates. It's wonderful having all these folks up here and we haven't been up here together that long but, boy it sure has been wonderful already," Vande Hei said.