Dinner for 13, minus gravity

Dinner parties can be challenging on Earth, but aboard the International Space Station it's an altogether different experience with astronauts around and above the table.

The combined 13-member crew of the shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station can enjoy a joint meal when time permits, but getting everyone around the table is a bit of a challenge in the cramped confines of the lab complex.

Luckily, the absence of gravity makes "sitting down to dinner" a different sort of experience. No word yet on whether the last one to the table has to do the dishes.

The Endeavour crew arrived at the space station on July 17 and are set to leave Tuesday.

The shuttle Endeavour's seven-member crew dines with the space station's six crew members. NASA

The astronauts partake in joint meals in the U.S. Unity module. NASA

The combined crews pose in the Harmony module of the International Space Station. NASA

About the author

    Bill Harwood has been covering the U.S. space program full-time since 1984, first as Cape Canaveral bureau chief for United Press International and now as a consultant for CBS News. He has covered more than 125 shuttle missions, every interplanetary flight since Voyager 2's flyby of Neptune, and scores of commercial and military launches. Based at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Harwood is a devoted amateur astronomer and co-author of "Comm Check: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia." You can follow his frequent status updates at the CBS News Space page.

     

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