The latest delivery to the International Space Station has taken off carrying supplies including pizza for seven.
Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo ship rocketed away from Virginia’s eastern shore on Tuesday and should reach the station on Thursday.
Its 8,200-pound shipment includes fresh apples, tomatoes and kiwi fruit, along with a pizza kit and cheese smorgasbord for the seven station astronauts.
Also amongst the cargo is a mounting bracket for new solar wings which will be sent to the orbiting lab next year, a material simulating moon dust and dirt that will be used to create items from the space station’s 3D printer, slime mold for a French educational experiment called Blob, and an infrared-detecting device meant as a prototype for future tracking satellites.
It is Northrop Grumman’s 16th supply run for NASA and its biggest load yet. The company’s Antares rocket hoisted the capsule from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
“Aloha to the SS Ellison Onizuka,” Northrop Grumman said via Launch Control minutes before lift-off. The capsule was named for Hawaii’s Mr Onizuka, the first Asian American in space, who died in the 1986 Challenger launch disaster.
NASA’s other shipper, SpaceX, will follow with a cargo run in a few weeks.
The space station is currently home to three Americans, two Russians, one French and one Japanese.