Northrop Grumman's Cygnus capsule has docked on the International Space Station to deliver scientific experiments, supplies, and an Easter feast for the Expedition 59 crew.
The private cargo ship launched from Wallops Island in Virginia on Wednesday, April 17, carrying 3,447-kilogram load to the orbiting laboratory. NASA astronaut Anne McClain used a robotic arm in order to capture the Cygnus capsule while the ISS was flying 415 kilometers above France on Friday, April 19.
ISS Astronuats Celebrate Easter Sunday
Among the scientific gears and other supplies, NASA packed more than 800 meals for the six astronauts currently onboard the ISS. The menu for Easter Sunday includes smoked turkey, potatoes au gratin, pork chops with gravy, lemon meringue pudding, and appricot cobbler.
Easter sunrise from @Space_Station pic.twitter.com/3soL9FFFdP — Anne McClain (@AstroAnnimal) April 21, 2019
The astronauts onboard the ISS might be far from home, but they also celebrate holidays in the orbiting laboratory. In 2013, for example, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield hid chocolate-filled Easter eggs for his colleagues.
For Thanksgiving last year, NASA also sent a sumptuous meal, which included a turkey, yams, and pound cakes to the crew in low-orbit.
S.S. Roger Chaffee Docks On The ISS
Northrup Grumman named the Cygnus capsule the S.S. Roger Chaffee, the youngest of the three astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967. After a day and a half journey, the uncrewed capsule was remotely anchored to the orbiting laboratory by flight controllers in Houston.
"It's great to have the S.S. Roger Chaffee officially on board," said Astronaut McClain. "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 honor his legacy by pursuing his passion for exploration. To the S.S. Roger Chaffee, welcome aboard."
#ICYMI: The #Cygnus space freighter from @NorthropGrumman blasted off Wednesday from Virginia and arrived at the station Friday delivering science, supplies and hardware to the Expedition 59 crew. pic.twitter.com/W8yuNjiVYw — Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) April 21, 2019
The Cygnus capsule will remain anchored to the ISS until July. It will then partake into a free flight test for a couple of months before plunging back to Earth to burn in the atmosphere.
The ISS is scheduled to receive another shipment this month, which will be delivered by SpaceX.