In a stunning surprise, Santa’s helpers and elves floated into the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday (Dec. 22) bearing a Christmas tree, massive (but weightless) sacks of presents and boundless cheer. They had departed Earth from frigid Baikonur on Dec 20. The supposed cosmonauts and astronauts had apparently been magically transformed just moments before docking at the ISS. Without notice they were summarily pressed into Santa’s elite “Good Will” corps for special duty to bring holiday cheer and good tidings to all, especially all of Earth’s Children !
After opening the hatches between their Soyuz TMA 17 capsule and the ISS, the newly christened helpers popped into view led by a smiling Oleg Kotov. He proudly hoisted the precious Christmas Tree ahead, topped by a dangling Santa. Although Santa was clearly honored to be first aboard, he didn’t quite know which way was up and was briefly heard to be asking about the safety briefing on climbing down the newly installed Space Chimney on last week’s daring and first of its kind Spacewalk.
Soichi Noguchi was next to float through, carefully navigating forwards with a giant white sack of presents slung over his shoulder so as not to damage the station walls. No black coal evident here ! Bringing up the rear was the lone Elf, Tim Creamer, sporting genuine pointy elf ears and elegant elven crafted shoes.
Two more of Santa’s helpers, Jeff Willams and Maxim Sureav, were already aboard the ISS and busy hanging Christmas stockings and decorations for the new arrivals.
After cobbling together the last presents for Santa’s world wide journey, the crew will bid Santa Adieu for the inaugural Chimney ride back to Earth. Good Luck Santa ! It’s a long but thrilling way down.
On Christmas Day the Expedition 22 crew will relax before beginning the busy final assembly of the ISS.
Meanwhile another special Santa squad is burning the midnight oil to finish last minute requests from the very best children and keeping Space Shuttle Endeavour toasty warm at the toy workshop inside her big house (Vehicle Assembly Building) at the Kennedy Space Center.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday’s to All !
Peace be with you