EVEN astronauts need to do a “big shop” for the Easter holidays.
A grocery rocket filled with festive treats blasted off bound for the International Space Station yesterday.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly juggles some fruit after a food delivery to the International Space Station[/caption]
A 3.4-tonne capsule carrying food and equipment to the International Space Station blasted off from Virginia yesterday[/caption]
As many as 800 meals are tucked away on the capsule – which took off from Wallops Island, Virginia on Wednesday.
They will be dished out over the coming weeks to the six crew currently on board the floating laboratory orbiting 254 miles above the Earth.
Among the dishes are traditional American Easter favourites – including smoked turkey, pork chops, asparagus and cobbler.
The 3.4-tonne rocket-propelled shopping trolley should arrive on Good Friday – just in time for the celebrations to begin.
Vacuum sealed food on display at a Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, earlier this month. Similar treats are being sent to the ISS[/caption]
But it’s not just food that is packed on board the Cygnus capsule.
Three free-flying robots are being sent up to be tested as astronaut helpers – as well as 40 black lab mice and 63 tiny student-research satellites.
Two of the cube-shaped Astrobee robots will be tested inside by the station crew.
The third – called Seeker and the size of a bread loaf – will wait until the Cygnus departs in July before being released and flying solo in orbit.
The mice are part of tetanus-vaccine testing.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly gives a thumbs up on the quality of his snack alongside Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko in this photo from April 2015[/caption]
The International Space Station, which orbits 254 miles above the Earth, takes a stunning photo of the British Isles[/caption]
This particular Cygnus is named the S.S. Roger Chaffee after the youngest of the three astronauts who died in the 1967 Apollo 1 spacecraft fire.
Northrop Grumman, who are in charge of the capsule, said it’s honouring Chaffee ahead of the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.
They said he deserved to be remembered because he made the ultimate sacrifice without ever reaching space.
The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus resupply spacecraft on board, will arrive at the ISS on Good Friday[/caption]
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Another space station delivery should be coming by the end of this month.
NASA’s other commercial shipper, SpaceX, is due to launch a shipment from Florida on April 26.
SpaceX Dragon capsules have been making station deliveries since 2012 and Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus capsules since 2013.
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