Christmas greetings from the JSC Space News Roundup

Forwarded to the net 11 Jan 1988, by Will Martin -- AMXAL-RI <wmartin@ALMSA-1.ARPA>

The following is reprinted from the JSC Space News Roundup. Maybe, one day, this won't be as farfetched as it sounds now... [Editor's note {from the original}: The holiday season inspires the Roundup staff with hope for the future of humans in space. We present the following with apologies to Clement C. Moore.] 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Space Station Not a crewmember was stirring at that inclination The stockings were Velcroed by the microwave with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The astronauts were nestled all snug in their sleep restraints, While visions of Tex-Mex ran contrary to diet constraints; And the Commander in her IVA, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a 6-hour nap, When out on the hull there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my crew compartment to see what was the matter. Away to the porthole I flew like a flash, Switched open the shutters in the blink of a lash. White-painted graphite/epoxy like new-fallen snow, Gave the luster of midday to the trusswork below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than Space Shuttles his coursers they came, His radio crackled as he shouted and called them by name: "Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On Comet! On Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!" "To the top of the lab module! To the resource node!" he'd call. "Now close the hatch! Dog the latch! Keep pressure loss small!" As flight controllers monitored his craft on the fly, When he met with an obstacle, they helped him get by. So up to the airlock the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the bumper The prancing and pawingof each hoof a thumper. As I drew on my slippersocks, and was turning around, In the airlock St. Nicholas floated upside down. The globe of an EMU helmet he held under his arm, And the red of his space suit added holiday charm. He had a broad face and a little brown belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, through the airlock he rose. He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a sign, And away they all flew into the Earthshine. But I heard him o'er the S band, as he drove out of sight: "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Reposted by Rich Zellich