As­tro­nauts get pizza de­liv­ery

The Sudbury Star - - OPINION - MAR­CIA DUNN

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — As­tro­nauts got a mouth-wa­ter­ing haul with Tues­day’s Earthto-space de­liv­ery — pizza and ice cream.

A com­mer­cial sup­ply ship ar­rived at the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion two days af­ter launch­ing from Vir­ginia. Be­sides NASA equip­ment and ex­per­i­ments, the Or­bital ATK cap­sule holds choco­late and vanilla ice cream for the six sta­tion as­tro­nauts, as well as make-your-own flatbread piz­zas.

As­tro­nauts al­ways crave pizza in or­bit, but it has been par­tic­u­larly tough for Italy’s Paolo Ne­spoli. He’s been up there since July and has an­other month to go.

Ne­spoli used the space sta­tion’s robot arm to grab the cargo ship, as they zoomed 420 km above the In­dian Ocean.

Be­sides flatbread, the cap­sule con­tains all the mak­ings of a good Earth pizza: sauce, cheese, pep­per­oni, an­chovy paste, toma­toes, pesto, olive oil and more.

As­tro­nauts also get a han­ker­ing for cold treats, thus the big frozen ship­ment of ice cream cups, ice cream sand­wiches, ice cream bars and frozen fruit bars.

In all, the cap­sule con­tains nearly 3.6 tonnes of cargo. It’s named the S.S. Gene Cer­nan in hon­our of the last man to walk on the moon, who died in Jan­uary.

The ex­per­i­ments in­clude meal­worms and mi­cro clover, sent up by high-school stu­dents.

The sup­ply ship will re­main at the space sta­tion un­til the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber, when it’s cut loose with a load of trash. It will hover close to the or­bit­ing lab as part of an ex­per­i­ment, then sev­eral mini satel­lites will be re­leased and it will burn up in the at­mos­phere on re-en­try.

SpaceX, NASA’s other prime ship­per, will make a de­liv­ery next month.

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