Oct 25, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

International Space Station Astronauts Received Supplies

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By Paula

It is Christmas at the International Space Station when they received 5,300 pounds of food, clothing, spare parts and lab equipment.

The astronauts grabbed Cygnus, the goodies capsule, with a robotic arm and pulled it to the station. It will take a month for them to fully unload the contents of Cygnus while the astronauts from the station empty their vessel with 4,000 pounds of trash.

They will release the trash on the atmosphere to burn up. Before it burn itself up, the experiment Spacecraft Fire Experiment II, otherwise called Saffire II, will start a small fire to test how zero gravity affect flame size and fire spread, The Christian Monitor reported.

The Saffire-II data will be remotely downloaded. Cygnus will also release cubesats, mini satellites for weather forecasting before it totally burns up.

It took the capsule a week to reach the station. It orbited 220 miles above Earth with an average speed of 17, 227 miles per hour.

San Francisco Chronicle reported that the trip took years to do. The Antares rocket that contains Cygnus exploded the last time it took off.

It took them two years to redesign the rocket. They rebuild the launch pad and replace the engines of the rocket. 

They launched the rocket on the Orbital ATK, one of NASA's shippers, on October 16, 2016. Frank Culbertson, Orbital ATK President, explained that a lot of work has been done for this launch.


They explained that since 2013 there has been five Cygnus ships that delivered food, clothes, equipment and science experiments. Culbertson explained that every cargo mission is like Christmas.

They don't know what they will be getting once they open the hatch. Culbertson is not new to this because he was once an astronaut that lived in the space station more than decades ago.

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