As the world celebrated Father’s Day on June 17th, four fathers celebrated the occasion floating 400 km (250 miles) away from the Earth at International Space Station.
Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel, NASA astronauts and Sergey Prokopyev and Oleg Artemyev, Russian cosmonauts, all four who are part of the six-member crew currently on board the space station for Expedition 56, have kids, who are on Earth.
Although all four were not able to be physically present with their kids and enjoy in person, they at least had the option of video chatting with them and the rest of the family. Moreover, the day falling on a Sunday, the crew members having their weekly offs, allowed them to have more of virtual family time on Father’s Day.
All the four crew members on board the space station have two kids each. Artemyev, who started on the mission with fellow dads Feustel and Arnold on the 21st of March, left back his 6-month-old daughter along with his older son as he took off into the orbit.
Artemyev, is in constant touch with his family via regular video calls and chats, despite being in space for almost three months now. He shared his infant daughter’s delighted looks to see his dad on the computer screen on Twitter.
Arnold has two daughters, and Feustel has two sons, and all are grown up young adults. One of Fuestel’s sons recently graduated from the college during the springs, and the astronaut had sent his best wishes and congratulations to his son on Earth from space through Twitter. All of these three dads had their assignments in the space station for more six months and thirteen days, before they will be able to return to Earth on the 4th of October.
As per Prokopyev, who arrived on the mission on a different Soyuz, just nine days before, have one daughter and one son and will be up in the space for six months more on Expedition 56 and 57.
The two other astronauts out of the six-member team, who flew to the ISS with Prokopyev, are not dads, but NASA’s Serena Aunon – Chancellor and the only woman in space currently, has his husband and daughter on Earth. Alexander Gerst, the German astronaut from the European Space Agency, is the only crew member on board who have no kids.