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A food shipment destined for the International Space Station rocketed into space yesterday to the six astronauts on board, just in time for Easter.
After launching from Virginia, NASA's Northrop Grumman's C rocket carrying the Cygnus capsule should arrive at the space station on Good Friday.
Space - Agency - Easter - Goodies - Turkey
The space agency said the Easter goodies include smoked turkey, pork chops and asparagus along with cargo to be used in new and existing investigations.
Among this 7.6 pound (3,450kg) load was three free-flying robots to be tested as astronaut helpers and 63 tiny student-research satellites.
Group - Lab - Mice - Part - Experiment
A group of 40 black lab mice are also being sent up as part of an ongoing tetanus-vaccine testing experiment.
The rodent immune system closely parallels that of humans, and the rodent research and will examine the effects of spaceflight on the function of antibody production and immune memory.
Cargo - Health - Body - Fluids - Blood
Also among the cargo are tools to measure astronaut health which will test body fluids such as blood, saliva, and urine and vascular sensors to check how space affects an astronaut's ageing.
Two cube-shaped Astrobee robots will be tested inside by the station crew, while a third — called Seeker and the size of a bread loaf — will be used outside.
Robots - Cygnus - Departs - July - Solo
The robots will wait until the Cygnus departs in July before being released and flying solo in orbit.
Altogether, more than 800 meals are tucked away in disposable packages, which actually prevents the food from flying away.
Cygnus - SS - Roger - Chaffee - Astronauts
This particular Cygnus is named the SS Roger Chaffee after the youngest of the three astronauts who died in the 1967 Apollo 1 spacecraft fire.
Northrop Grumman said it is honouring Mr Chaffee ahead of the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, because he made the ultimate sacrifice without ever reaching space.
NASA - Astronauts - Diet
Providing NASA astronauts with a nutritious diet is...
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