First time in history, ten people at once celebrated New Year in space
The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, announced on Saturday that seven people rang in the new year onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and three on the Chinese station Tiangong, making it the most "packed" ever in space.
"2022 was celebrated in near-Earth orbit by ten earthlings: seven on the International Space Station and three on the Chinese Tiangong Space Station. Roscosmos said in a statement published on its website. "This was the most crowded New Year’s celebration in orbit in the history of manned space exploration," Roscosmos said in a statement.
According to Roskosmos, 83 people have spent New Year's Eve aboard the International Space Station (ISS) over the last 21 years, with several cosmonauts and astronauts doing so multiple times.
Anton Shkaplerov, a Russian cosmonaut, spent four New Years in orbit: 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2022.
On the International Space Station, astronauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov work alongside NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hai, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, and ESA astronaut Mathias Maurer, while on the Tiangong space station, Hai Zhigang, Wang Yaping, and Ye Guangfu work.
Holidays in space were relatively uncommon in the early years of the space programme, making them all the more memorable.
Yuri Romanenko and Georgy Grechko were the first cosmonauts to celebrate the New Year in orbit in 1977-1978.
Holidays in space grew more prevalent as space travel became longer.
With the launch of the Soviet Mir space station in 1986, New Year's Eve became a regular occurrence: 12 Mir crews spent the holiday in orbit.