SpaceX Christmas delivery arrives at space station

Pictures Of The Week Photo Gallery
Pictures Of The Week Photo Gallery
Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

SpaceX delivery 

 A SpaceX delivery full of Christmas goodies arrived at the International space station on Saturday, following a slight delay caused by a communication drop-out.

The Dragon capsule pulled up at the orbiting science lab 3 days after launching from Cape Canaveral.

Commander Alexander Gerst used the space station’s huge robotic arm to grab the cargo carrier, as the 2 craft soared 250 miles above the Pacific.

It took 2 tries to get the Dragon close enough for capture.
NASA known as off the Dragon’s 1st approach because of trouble with the communication network that serves the space station.

Equipment failure in New Mexico for NASA’s tracking and information Relay Satellite system resulted in a temporary loss of communication with the station. For safety, Mission control ordered the Dragon to back up.

It was a successful take 2 — just an hour and a half late — after NASA switched to another TDRS satellite.

The bolted-down Dragon holds everything the station astronauts need for Christmas dinner, as well as mice and worms for science experiments, and over 5,000 pounds of station equipment.

The holiday food includes smoked turkey, green bean casserole, candied yams, cranberry sauce, and fruitcake. There also are shortbread and butter cookies, with tubes of icing for decorating.

Three of the space station residents will be on board for Christmas; the other 3 will return to Earth on Dec. 20. Until then, the station is home to 2 Americans, 2 Russians, one Canadian, and Gerst, who is German.

It is the second space station visit for this recycled Dragon; it was there last year, too.

The first-stage booster used in Wednesday’s launch is back at port, after landing at sea rather than Cape Canaveral. SpaceX towed the booster to shore for possible future reuse, also as for an investigation into what went wrong.

SpaceX has been making station shipments for NASA since 2012. this is often its sixteenth delivery under contract.

Two other supply ships are connected to the space station: one Russian and the other sent by NASA’s other commercial shipper, Northrop Grumman.

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