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How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving

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Wikimedia Commons

While American families everywhere sit down at the dining room table for a holiday feast, astronauts will be having their own party—260 miles above Earth.

Thanksgiving is a working day on the International Space Station (ISS), but after their work is complete, the six crew members will enjoy a meal similar to what's on your table, albeit with a twist: irradiated smoked turkey, thermostabilized yams, and freeze-dried green beans. They’ll also enjoy NASA’s cornbread dressing, home-style potatoes, cranberries, and cherry-blueberry cobbler.

The crewmembers have NASA food scientist Vickie Kloeris to thank for their holiday meal. Kloeris has worked in space food development and production since 1985. Beginning in January 2000, Kloeris managed the International Space Station’s food system. She is also behind the idea of growing plants in space for food.

NASA is currently researching and developing ways to extend the shelf-life of food needed for deep space missions, which can take months or years to complete.

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entertainment
‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Could Have Been a Meat Loaf Song
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Imagine a world in which Bonnie Tyler was not the star performer on the Royal Caribbean Total Eclipse Cruise. Imagine if, instead, as the moon crossed in front of the sun in the path of totality on August 21, 2017, the performer belting out the 1983 hit for cruise ship stargazers was Meat Loaf?

It could have been. Because yes, as Atlas Obscura informs us, the song was originally written for the bestselling rocker (and actor) of Bat Out of Hell fame, not the husky-voiced Welsh singer. Meat Loaf had worked on his 1977 record Bat Out of Hell with Jim Steinman, the composer and producer who would go on to work with the likes of Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand (oddly enough, he also composed Hulk Hogan’s theme song on an album released by the WWE). “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was meant for Meat Loaf’s follow-up album to Bat Out of Hell.

But Meat Loaf’s fruitful collaboration with Steinman was about to end. In the wake of his bestselling record, the artist was going through a rough patch, mentally, financially, and in terms of his singing ability. And the composer wasn’t about to stick around. As Steinman would tell CD Review magazine in 1989 (an article he has since posted on his personal website), "Basically I only stopped working with him because he lost his voice as far as I was concerned. It was his voice I was friends with really.” Harsh, Jim, harsh.

Steinman began working with Bonnie Tyler in 1982, and in 1983, she released her fifth album, Faster Than the Speed of Night, including “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” It sold 6 million copies.

Tyler and Steinman both dispute that the song was written specifically for Meat Loaf. “Meat Loaf was apparently very annoyed that Jim gave that to me,” she told The Irish Times in 2014. “But Jim said he didn’t write it for Meat Loaf, that he only finished it after meeting me.”

There isn’t a whole lot of bad blood between the two singers, though. In 1989, they released a joint compilation album: Heaven and Hell.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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History
13 Vintage Photos of People Watching Solar Eclipses
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Ahead of the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, take a peek at these old photos of Earthlings with their eyes glued to the skies.

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