How Astronauts Will Ring in the New Year

PHOTO: US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka wave after their space suits were tested at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome, March 27, 2015.Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images
US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka wave after their space suits were tested at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome, March 27, 2015.

Living in space has its quirks -- especially when it comes to celebrating the start of a new year.

Since the International Space Station orbits Earth once every 90 minutes, astronauts traverse every time zone many times a day. For the sake of simplicity and getting everyone on a schedule, astronauts use Coordinated Universal Time -- that's five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

When the new year rolls around in their time zone, the astronauts will likely be asleep. A NASA spokesperson told ABC News the astronauts' sleep schedule is set to end right at 12 a.m. Central Time on New Year's Day, so it's likely the crew will be awake when many people in the Western Hemisphere are toasting the start of 2016.

The six astronauts are also scheduled to have the day off, NASA said, bringing a relaxing start to the year ahead. The start of a new year will also have special significance for Scott Kelly, who will return to Earth in March after spending a historic year in space.