Mike Hopkins thanks soldiers and displays astronauts' Thanksgiving dinner

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (KMOX) – Missouri native and University of Illinois graduate Mike Hopkins, along with his and fellow Expedition 38 astronaut Rick Mastracchio, took a few minutes from their work on the International Space Station Thursday to send Thanksgiving greetings to those of us back on Earth.

In the video, which you can watch here, Hopkins says, “People often ask us what it’s like to be on ISS for the holidays. While we miss our families, it’s great to be in space. As astronauts, this is what we train for and this is where we want to be.”

Hopkins then passes the floating microphone to Mastracchio, who echoes his comments, “If we can’t be at home with our families during the holidays, than this is the next best place any of us would like to be.”

The two then show the dehydrated turkey, dressing, and green bean casserole they’ll be having for their Thanksgiving dinner.

Hopkins was born in Lebanon, Missouri and grew up on a farm outside Richland. He was the the captain of the 1991 Illini football team and is married to the former Julie Stutz of Peoria.

He arrived on the ISS in September and is due to return to Earth in March.

Hopkins and Mastracchio close their video by thanking their ground team and soldiers serving around the world. “We are grateful to the men and women in the military, especially to those who are also away from their families on deployment.”


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