Thursday 6 December 2018 10:10 am

Space X rocket delivers Christmas dinner to International Space Station astronauts

Elon Musk's Space X sent a rocket hurtling towards the International Space Station yesterday to bring astronauts their Christmas dinner in orbit.

The rocket brought a turkey, helpings of cranberry sauce, candied yams and a fruitcake to allow the crew to enjoy Christmas as they might have back on Earth.

The rocket also carried 40 mice and 36,000 worms to help researchers with age and muscle studies, the Associated Press reported.

Three astronauts arrived at the space station earlier this week. They join another three who are due to leave on 20 December.

The Space X rocket carrying food and other equipment soared out of the earth’s atmosphere, but its booster fell away, missing its landing zone, and dropped into the sea.

“Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea. Appears to be undamaged and is transmitting data. Recovery ship dispatched,” Space X boss Elon Musk said on Twitter.

It is the first time in 13 attempts that a Space X booster has missed a ground landing, but it has fallen short during landings on floating barges several times in the past.

Space X vice president Hans Koenigsmann said the booster had deliberately aimed for the sea to avoid built-up areas after sensing a problem.

“Public safety was well protected here,” he told AP.

Space X has been delivering supplies to the International Space Station for Nasa for six years, and expects to start launching crew members into orbit from next year.

Regardless the Dragon capsule fulfilled the mission’s primary purpose, soaring into orbit with 2,500 kilograms of cargo onboard.