Question For NASA: Why Are There Party Balloons on the International Space Station?

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Editor's note: Check out this image from the ISS inside Destiny Module. Look at the upper left hand corner of the image - at high resolution.

Is that a bunch of party balloons? Are they evidence of an on-orbit birthday party? Jeff Williams' birthday is on 18 January. Pavel Vinogradov's is on 31 August. Guess not. However, this ISS status report noted that "Vinogradov and Williams had a day off on Monday, Russian Independence Day" and this image was posted the next day. I'll ask NASA PAO (they deserve a fun question to answer every now and then).

Editor's 17 June update: Allard Beutel from NASA PAO just called to tell me that the balloons were actually part of a surprise birthday greeting for Jeff William's wife during a private family session a few weeks ago.


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