Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have everything they need to celebrate the holidays following a Saturday delivery loaded with Christmas goodies.
A SpaceX Dragon capsule, launched days earlier from Florida, delivered smoked turkey, green bean casserole, candied yams, cranberry sauce and fruitcake to the laboratory in the sky. There also are shortbread and butter cookies and tubes of icing for decorating.
Commander Alexander Gerst used the space station's big robotic arm to grab the cargo carrier as the two craft soared 250 miles above the Pacific on Saturday. It took two tries to get the Dragon close enough for capture.
The rendezvous was delayed approximately 90 minutes because of trouble with the communication network that serves the space station.
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The space station has housed astronauts every Christmas since 2000; crewmembers are afforded time off to celebrate the holiday each year. Three of the space station's current residents will be on board for Christmas; the other three will return to Earth on Dec. 20. Until then, the station is home to two Americans, two Russians, one Canadian and Gerst, who is German.
In addition to the holiday feast and more than 5,000 pounds of other station equipment, the Dragon delivered 40 mice and 36,000 worms for aging and muscle studies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Christmas dinner arrives at the International Space Station
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION