JOHNSON SPACE CENTER —There’s no Champagne or fireworks allowed on the International Space Station, but the orbiting laboratory’s six crew members rang in the new year by beaming a message to revelers in New York’s Times Square.

Astronaut Mike Massimino introduced a video greeting from astronaut Karen Nyberg, who returned to Earth in November. The video message was displayed on massive screens below the New Year’s Eve ball.

NASA’s Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins, as well as Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, delivered a message from space.

The space agency has previously broadcast from Times Square, including two launches and the 2012 landing of the Mars Curiosity rover, which drew a crowd of more than 1,000 people.

In-orbit astronauts, whose clocks are set to Coordinated Universal Time, or Greenwich Mean time, officially entered 2014 along with cities in the United Kingdom and Iceland.

Crew members will enjoy an off-duty day, which allows them a bit more relaxation time.  

Holiday treats and snacks for the crew will have to wait. The Cygnus commercial craft scheduled to deliver cargo to the station in December had its launch delayed to January after a faulty pump module on the station required two urgent spacewalks for repair.

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5244 or

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