NASA Astronaut, comparative physiologist, explorer, nature lover and current resident of the International Space Station Jessica Meir on Monday morning tweeted the planet below: “Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate it on Earth!” along with an image of her star-of-David & menorahs dotted socks against the cloudy Earth in her portal.
— Jessica Meir (@Astro_Jessica) December 23, 2019
Yiftah Curiel tweeted back: “Happy Hanukkah from Jerusalem.”
Teddy #@%$’n Bear tweeted a mean one: “Hello Miss diversity hire,” suggesting space belongs to WASPs.
Andrew Michael Goldsweig lectured: “An important aspect of lighting the menorah in the front of our homes is publicizing the miracle of Hanukkah. By celebrating in front of the entire planet, you have taken Hanukkah to a whole new level. Great work and happy Hanukkah @Astro_Jessica!”
Emma Beckerman raised an intriguing halachic issue which has been discussed in rabbinical circles since the start of the space program: “Is there a place on Earth’s sunset times that you use to celebrate on the ISS?” One common response suggests that all manner of Jewish prayer in space be done by Jerusalem time.
The ISS revolves around the Earth at about 17,500 mph resulting in it completing one revolution in about 90 minutes, and about 16 revolutions per day. That’s a lot of candle lighting.
One girl from Spain asked Jessica to please take a quick snapshot showing that the Earth is round, so she can show it to her friends who are driving her crazy with their flat Earth ideas.
Most of the responses, naturally, praised Jessica’s socks.
Jessica Ulrika Meir, 42, was previously Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. She was born in Caribou, Maine, to a Swedish mother who was a nurse and an Israeli father of Iraqi-Jewish descent, who worked as a physician. She speaks Swedish and Russian (the latter required for astronaut training).
Meir launched to the International Space Station on board Soyuz MS-15 on September 25, 2019. On October 18, 2019, Meir performed her first spacewalk alongside her colleague Christina Koch. The spacewalk lasted for seven hours and 17 minutes, and was the first all-female spacewalk in history. President Donald Trump called to congratulate them.