SpaceX Delivery of Christmas Gifts Arrives to International Space Station

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 8, 2018

It took two tries to get the Dragon close enough to be captured by the space station's robot arm.

The robotic Dragon spacecraft arrived at the space station Saturday morning to deliver more than 5,600 pounds (2,540 kilograms) of fresh supplies for the six Expedition 57 astronauts on the orbiting lab. Equipment failure in New Mexico for NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system resulted in a temporary loss of communication with the station.

"We did fly some extra food, some Christmas-type food for the crew, standard things, candied yams, turkey, corn, green bean casserole, some Christmas traditional standard stuff like that", said Joel Montalbano, deputy program manager of the space station at the Johnson Space Center. For safety, Mission Control ordered the Dragon to back up.

Once hatches are opened to the Dragon, the crew first will move high-priority science equipment and supplies into the station, including the rodent habitat and items that need to be transferred to the station's freezers. There also are shortbread and butter cookies, with tubes of icing for decorating. Until then, the station is home to two Americans, two Russians, one Canadian and Gerst, who is German. SpaceX launched the Dragon ship Wednesday (Dec. 5) from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Wednesday (Dec. 5). SpaceX towed the booster to shore for possible future reuse, as well as for an investigation into what went wrong. This is its 16th delivery under contract.

Two other supply ships are attached to the space station: One Russian and the other sent by NASA's other commercial shipper, Northrop Grumman.

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