Science

Private cargo ship delivers Easter feast to International Space Station

Astronaut Anne McClain used a robot arm to capture the capsule 258 miles above France.

A private cargo ship has arrived at the International Space Station with food galore after a one and a half-day journey from Earth.

Space station astronaut Anne McClain used a robot arm to capture Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus capsule as they soared 258 miles above France.

The Cygnus and its 7,600lb shipment rocketed from Wallops Island, Virginia, on Wednesday.

It holds numerous science experiments, including 40 mice taking part in a tetanus vaccination study, and three small free-flying robots to assist astronauts inside and out.

There are also more than 800 meals for the six station residents, including the makings for a fine Easter meal. Nasa packed pork chops with gravy, potatoes au gratin and lemon meringue pudding, among other space specialities.

Northrop Grumman named this Cygnus the SS Roger Chaffee after the youngest of the three astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 spacecraft fire in 1967.

Mr Chaffee was the only one on the crew who never made it to space.

“It’s great to have the SS Roger Chaffee officially on board,” Ms McClain radioed. “We never forget that we stand on the shoulders of giants.

“Please know that every day we remember his sacrifice and that we will continue to honour his legacy by pursuing his passion for exploration. To the SS Roger Chaffee, welcome aboard.”

There are two other Americans living on the space station, as well as two Russians and one Canadian. They will receive another shipment in just over a week from Nasa’s other commercial supplier, SpaceX.

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