SpaceX sent in Christmas gifts, goodies and supplies to the International Space Station on Tuesday in what marked its 100th successful rocket landing — a unique Christmas present for the company.
The gifts for the seven ISS astronauts were loaded in a Falcon rocket, hoisted with a Dragon capsule loaded with more than 2,950 kg of gear. The take-off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on a foggy December morning was smooth. Minutes later, the first-stage booster landed upright on an ocean platform, six years to the day that Elon Musk’s company accomplished its first booster touchdown in 2015.
Among the items due to arrive at the space station on Wednesday are Christmas presents from the astronauts’ families, smoked fish and turkey, green beans and fruitcake for a holiday feast.
A few days ago, a SpaceX booster made its 11th flight. “It’s critical to lower the cost of spaceflight to continue to reuse these boosters more and more times. A hundred is a big milestone, so we’re excited about that,” said SpaceX mission manager Sarah Walker.
The delivery also includes a laundry detergent experiment. Station astronauts currently trash their dirty clothes; Procter & Gamble Co. is developing a fully degradable detergent for eventual use at the station, on the moon and beyond.
SpaceX will be ending 2021 with 31 launches — the most ever by the company.