Earthlings are not the only ones having special holiday packages delivered to their front doors this year. On Sunday, Dec. 6, a special holiday delivery was launched into outer space, bound for the International Space Station.
The latest SpaceX mission is bringing special supplies for the seven astronauts living on the International Space Station. The shipment (which is being carried on Dragon, SpaceX’s newly updated cargo ship) includes enough food for a holiday feast, including roast turkey, shortbread biscuits, cranberry sauce and tubes of icing, according to Kenny Todd, NASA’s deputy space station program manager.
But this cargo delivery contains more than just classic holiday food. The SpaceX mission is also couriering around 4,400 pounds of research to the astronauts, which will help them to further their experiments in outer space.
“Some of the science being delivered on this mission includes a study aimed at better understanding heart disease to support development of treatments for patients on Earth, research into how microbes can be used for biomining on asteroids, and a tool being tested for quick and accurate blood analysis in microgravity,” reads a statement on the NASA website regarding the International Space Station’s most recent delivery.
Under the careful guidance of NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Victor Glover, SpaceX’s Dragon successfully docked onto the ISS’s Harmony module at 1:40 p.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 7. The Harmony module acts as “an internal connecting port and passageway to international science labs and cargo spacecraft” and serves as the utility headquarters for the International Space Station.
You can watch the entire launch of SpaceX’s cargo ship from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida below:
Then, off in space, the successful docking of the Dragon at ISS was captured on video and shared on Twitter by NASA.
🐉 This is the 1st automated docking for a SpaceX cargo resupply mission & the 1st time two Dragon spacecraft are on station simultaneously: pic.twitter.com/Qj6n9KLnxO
— NASA (@NASA) December 7, 2020
No doubt the scientists will be excited to find out what’s inside the cargo ship, which may even include holiday gifts beyond the lab research and festive meals.
“Let’s see what happens when they open the hatch,” Todd said during a press conference. “I’m optimistic.”