The International Space Station has a delivery on the way, one containing important cargo for both the science experiments and astronauts on board. The space station receives regular cargo shipments; that’s nothing unusual. This month’s delivery will include something special for the crew, however, and it’ll arrive in time for Christmas.
Resupply missions are an important part of maintaining the International Space Station and the crew who lives on it. The team depends on these vital cargo runs to get food, items they need, scientific gear, and more. Earlier this week, SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon spacecraft containing ISS supplies, and included on it was Christmas dinner.
Astronauts are being provided with a traditional Christmas dinner, including smoked turkey breast, cranberry sauce, candied yams, and even fruitcake. The meal will arrive with the rest of the cargo in time for the holidays.
In addition to the special meal, this particular cargo supply includes 36,000 worms and 40 lab mice to be used as part of scientific studies on muscles and aging. NASA had to delay the cargo mission’s launch by a day after it discovered at the last minute that the rodent food was moldy.
The mouse food was replaced and the launch took place a day later than originally scheduled. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully delivered the capsule — which contains 5,600lbs of cargo — into orbit, but failed to land its booster.
SpaceX has notably managed to land its Falcon 9 rocket multiple times in the past, enabling the company to reuse it for future missions. Though the launch itself was successful, the booster experienced an issue with its landing fins that resulted in it spinning. The rocket stabilized at the last minute, ultimately landing in the ocean where it was recovered intact.