CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida: Christmas has finally arrived for the six space station astronauts.
A privately launched supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday morning, three days after blasting off from Virginia. The space station crew used a hefty robot arm to capture the Cygnus capsule.
The Cygnus is carrying 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms) of equipment and experiments, including ants for an educational project. Also on board: eagerly awaited Christmas presents for all six spacemen.
Orbital Sciences Corp. was supposed to make the delivery last month, well before Christmas. But the Virginia company had to wait a month. A space station breakdown in mid-December took priority, and NASA bumped the flight to January. Then frigid weather at the launch site forced a delay. Then a strong solar storm interfered.