New Year’s Eve in space: How do astronauts know when to celebrate (VIDEO)?

If You’re an Astronaut Hurtling Through Space, When Is It the New Year? 

If You’re an Astronaut Hurtling Through Space, When Is It the New Year? 

Slate in motion.
Dec. 30 2014 11:17 AM

New Year’s Eve at the Space Station

How do astronauts hurtling through space decide when it becomes 2015? 

Illustration by Ellie Skrzat

Illustration by Ellie Skrzat

When is it officially the new year when you’re soaring through space? In 2012, Brian Palmer and Jim Festante explained how astronauts aboard the International Space Station mark “midnight” on New Year’s Eve. The video is reprinted below.  

Every year, crews aboard the International Space Station celebrate different holidays that change based on the nationality of the astronauts. But what about celebrating New Year's Eve—how do you pick the right moment when you're hurtling through time zones at 17,500 miles per hour? 

Brian Palmer covers science and medicine for Slate.

Jim Festante is an actor/writer in Los Angeles and regular video contributor to Slate. He is the author of the Image Comics miniseries The End Times of Bram and Ben.