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'No One’s Ever Sent Me a Spaceship for My Birthday Before'

Ice cream delivery arrives on astronaut Megan McArthur 50th birthday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 30, 2021 3:04 PM CDT
'No One’s Ever Sent Me a Spaceship for My Birthday Before'
This long exposure photo shows the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on a resupply mission for NASA to the International Space Station from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, seen from Merritt Island, Fla., Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021.   (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)

(Newser) – A space station astronaut is celebrating her 50th birthday with the coolest present ever—a supply ship bearing ice cream and other treats. SpaceX’s latest cargo delivery showed up Monday at the International Space Station after a day in transit. Overseeing the automated docking was NASA astronaut Megan McArthur. "No one’s ever sent me a spaceship for my birthday before. I appreciate it," she radioed after the capsule arrived. Launched Sunday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the capsule contains lemons, cherry tomatoes, avocados, and ice cream for McArthur and her six crewmates, along with a couple tons of research and other gear, the AP reports.

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The shipment arrived just a few days ahead of the first of three spacewalks. Starting Friday, the two Russians on board will perform back-to-back spacewalks to outfit a new laboratory that arrived in July. Then, a Japanese-French spacewalking duo will venture out Sept. 12 to install a bracket for new solar panels due to arrive next year. That NASA-directed spacewalk should have occurred last week, but was postponed after US spacewalker Mark Vande Hei suffered a pinched nerve in his neck. Station managers opted to replace him with French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. (A supply delivery in June included 128 baby squid.)

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