A spaceship delivery full of Christmas presents arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday, following a short delay by a communications drop-out.
The dragon capsule pulled up in the Orbiting Lab three days after launching from Cape Canal. Commander Alexander Gerst used the space station with a large robotic arm to capture the cargo carrier, as the two craft sordled 250 miles above the Pacific.
It took two tries to get the dragon close enough to catch.
NASA called off the dragon first approach because of trouble with the communications network that serves the space station. Equipment failure in New Mexico for NASA's tracking and data relay satellite system resulted in a temporary loss of communication with the station. For safety, mission control ordered the dragon to back up.
It was a success to take two – just an hour and a half later – after NASA switched to another satellite TV.
The Bolted-down Dragon holds all the station Astronauts need for Christmas dinner, as well as mice and worms for science experiments, and more than 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of station equipment.
The holiday food includes smoked turkey, green beans, candied yams, cranberry sauce and fruitcake. There are also shortbread and butter cookies, with tubes of icing for decorating.
Three of the space station residents will be on board for Christmas; The other three will return to Earth on December 20. Until then, the station is home to two Americans, two Russians, one Canadian and convert, who is German.
It is the second place station visit for the recycled dragon; It is there too last year.
The first-stage booster used in Wednesday's launch was back in the port, after lodging at sea instead of Cape Canaveral. Space shoots the booster to reach future Reus, as well as for an investigation into what is wrong.
Spacex has been making station shipments for NASA since 2012. This is its 16 delivery under contract.
Two other ships are attached to the space station: one Russian and the others sent by NASA's other commercial carrier, Northrot Grumpman.
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