Birthday ice cream delivery for space station astronaut

A space station astronaut is celebrating her 50th birthday with an ice cream and other treats brought by a supply ship.

SpaceX’s latest cargo delivery showed up on 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.

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Launched Sunday from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre, the capsule contains lemons, cherry tomatoes, avocados and ice cream for Ms McArthur and her six crewmates, along with a couple tons of research and other gear.

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 fit out a new laboratory that arrived in July.

Then a Japanese-French spacewalking duo will venture out September 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.