NASA Astronaut Hopes to See Fourth of July Fireworks from Space

NASA Astronaut Hopes to See Fourth of July Fireworks from Space

Orbiting NASA astronaut Scott Kelly doesn't have any special plans for the Fourth of July, though he will try to catch a glimpse of the fireworks displays down on Earth.

"Hopefully the timing will be right, & I'll be able to look down & see little specks of light over the United States on the evening of the Fourth of July," Kelly said Thursday (July 2) during a video interview with NASA spokesman Dan Huot of Johnson Space Center in Houston. "We'll have to see how the orbital mechanics & such works out."

So keep an eye on Twitter, where Kelly will post any rad snapshots he gets of the festivities. (He tweets as @StationCDRKelly).

Kelly currently lives aboard the $100 billion orbiting outpost along with Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko & Gennady Padalka. The trio will probably pass a fairly quiet & subdued Fourth of July. (Fireworks are forbidden on the space station, of course.)

"Nothing really special planned," Huot told "It's a regular Saturday, & they're going to obtain the day off. Looking at their timeline, they do have weekly housecleaning tasks scheduled, yet that's it."

Although astronauts obtain a special turkey meal on Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July has traditionally not carried any special food or celebration, other than a day off.

During the July 2 interview, Huot asked Kelly how it feels to represent the United States aboard the space station this holiday.

"It always feels great, & a privilege to represent our country," Kelly replied. "On holidays, you even feel more special; you have more of a patriotic feeling."

Kelly & Kornienko are approximately three months into the first-ever yearlong mission on the International Space Station, which is designed to gather data that will assist keep astronauts safe during the long journey to Mars. (Padalka, who arrived with the other two spaceflyers in late March, is embarked on a typical six-month stint.)

Kelly, Kornienko & Padalka will shortly have company: Three more crewmembers are set to launch toward the orbiting lab on July 22 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Email Sarah Lewin at or follow her @SarahExplains. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on

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