International Space Station team to experience New Year's eve 16 times

In a first ISS astronauts identify unknown microbes in space

In a first ISS astronauts identify unknown microbes in space

Six astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will experience New Year's eve 16 times as they orbit the Earth once every 90 minutes, NASA said.

That is 16 sunrise and sunsets 402 kilometres above Earth, the U.S. space agency said in a blog post.

The ISS houses six astronauts, three from the United States, two Russian and one Japanese who will be having a pretty relaxed schedule for the day, which will consist of family conferences before they take the day off for the New Year.

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The current crew on the orbital laboratory comprises three US astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts and a Japanese astronaut.

The current challenge these onboard astronauts are facing is that of health, so they are researching on matters of life sciences to help mission doctors to keep them stronger and healthier. Misurkin and Shkaplerov packed up the 67P full of trash - which will safely burn up over Earth's atmosphere; Kanai will continue working on a study focusing on physical exertion in space; and flight engineer Tingle of NASA harvested plants for the Advanced Plants Experiment - 05 (APEX).

Scientists are exploring how plants respond to microgravity and observe molecular and genetic changes. Also, NASA is planning longer human missions beyond low-Earth orbit and learning how to keep crews self-sustainable.

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