New Year’s Eve Times Square Celebration to Feature Space Station Astronauts

December 31st, 2013

Astronauts from the International Space Station will appear before millions world wide as part of annual New Year’s Eve festivities broadcast from One Times Square in New York City.

New York City's Times Square Photo Credit/Getty Images

NASA’s Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata will appear on the large Toshiba Vision screen positioned just below the brightly lit countdown ball poised to drop at midnight. More than one million people are expected at theNew York Citylandmark. More than a billion viewers from around the Earth are expected to join the festivities that will include music and appearances by popular entertainers.

Rick Mastracchio, left, and Mike Hopkins in International Space Station airlock. Photo Credit/NASA TV

New Year’s Eve greetings from Mastracchio, Hopkins and Wakata  who just completed emergency repairs to the space station’s thermal control system, will be hosted by fellow NASA astronaut  Mike Massimino. Mastracchio and Hopkins carried out lengthy spacewalks on Dec. 21st and 24th in response to an external cooling system problem aboard the six person space station on Dec. 11.

Wakata served as the operator of the station’s Canadian robot arm, which moved the spacewalkers around the outside of the space station.

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, center, assists spacewalkers Rick Mastracchio, left, and Mike Hopkins, right. Photo Credit/NASA TV

Through their efforts, operations aboard the station, including scientific research that was interrupted by a degraded thermal control system, are returning to normal as the New Year approaches.

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, who returned to the Earth in November following her stay on the station, will broadcast live greetings as well.

The Toshiba live screens have featured other recent space events, including the dramatic landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012.

The One Times Square celebration is scheduled to run from 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve, until 12:15 a.m., EST, New Year’s Day. Massimino, who will host the NASA activities, is scheduled to take the stage at 9:47 p.m.

Live link to 2014 New Year’s Eve live broadcast: