NASA astronaut proclaims ‘Happy Chanukah’ from space


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.

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.