A private cargo ship brought the making of an Easter feast to the International Space Station on Friday, along with mice and little flying robots.

Space station astronaut Anne McClain used a robot arm to capture Northrop Grumman's Cygnus capsule as they soared 258 miles [415 kilometers above France].

The Cygnus and its 7,000 pound [3,450 kilogram' shipment rocketed from Wallops Island, Virginia, on Wednesday, completing the trip in a quick day and a half. It holds numerous science experiments, including 40 mice taking part in a tetanus vaccination study, and three boxy free-flying robots  designed to assist astronauts inside and out.

NASA has packed more than  800 meals for thesix station residents. Their holiday choices include pork chops, with gravy, smoked turkey, potatoes and grains, lemon meringue pudding and apricot cobbler.

Northrop Grumman named the Cygnus the S.S. Roger Chaffee after the youngest of the astronaut who died in the Apollo 1 spacecraft fire in 1967. Chaffee was the only one on the crew who never made it to space.

''It's great to have the S.S.Roger Chaffee officially on board,'' McClain radioed. 'We never forger that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Please know that everyday we remember his sacrifice and that we will continue to honor his legacy by pursuing his passion for exploration. To the S.S.Roger Chaffee, welcome aboard.''

Two hours after his arrival, the capsule was anchored onto the space station by flight controllers, working remotely from Houston. The Cygnus will remain there until July, when it is released with trash for a few months of solo orbiting in a test by Northrop Grumman. It will ultimately make a fiery re-entry

Besides McClain, there are two other Americans living on the space station, as well,as two Russians and one Canadian. They will receive another shipment in just over a week from NASA's other commercial supplier SpaceX. [Agencies]  


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