posted 12-04-2002 11:31 AM
In one of its first official duties since taking up residence on the International Space Station, the crew of Expedition Six helps light up the holiday season by taking part in a New York tradition that dates back to the 1930s.
Commander Ken Bowersox, Science Officer Don Petit and Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin will help light the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York, an annual event that features one of the biggest, brightest and most famous holiday celebrations in the world.
The ceremony can be seen on television tonight at 8 p.m. EST on NBC's "Christmas in Rockefeller Center." The program is expected to draw up to 25 million viewers and will feature performances by Barry Manilow, Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow, Michelle Branch, Josh Groban and the world-famous Radio City Rockettes.
Astronauts Pam Melroy and Mike Massimino will also be in Manhattan to help mark the lighting of the 14,000-pound tree, which stands 76 feet tall and 43 feet wide and is adorned with more than 30,000 lights.
Additional information about the annual event is available on the Internet at: