ISS astronauts set for Easter feast thanks to arrival of private supply ship

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and his colleagues at the International Space Station are now set for an Easter feast thanks to the arrival of a private cargo ship on Friday.

American Anne McClain used the Canadarm2 to capture the Northrop Grumman Cygnus capsule as they soared 415 kilometres above France. The capsule and its 3,450-kilogram shipment rocketed from Wallops Island, Va., on Wednesday, completing the 1½-day trip in short order.

There are more than 800 meals for the six station residents, including the makings for a fine holiday meal. NASA packed pork chops with gravy, potatoes au gratin and lemon meringue pudding, among other space specialties.

The capsule also holds numerous science experiments, including 40 mice taking part in a tetanus vaccination study, and three small free-flying robots to assist astronauts inside and out.

Northrop Grumman, an American aerospace and defence technology company based in Virginia, named this Cygnus the S.S. Roger Chaffee after the youngest of the three astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 spacecraft fire in 1967. Chaffee was the only one on the crew who never made it to space.

“It’s great to have the S.S. Roger Chaffee officially on board,” McClain radioed. “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 honour his legacy by pursuing his passion for exploration. To the S.S. Roger Chaffee, welcome aboard.”

Besides Saint-Jacques and McClain, there are two Americans and two Russians living on the space station.They will receive another shipment in just over a week from NASA’s other commercial supplier, SpaceX.