Easter morning delivery for space station

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Space Station Easter Delivery
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Easter morning delivery for space station
This frame grabbed image from NASA-TV Sunday April 20, 2014 shows the SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule just prior to being captured by the Canadarm2 from the International Space Station at 7:14 a.m. EDT Sunday. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
This frame grabbed image from NASA-TV Sunday April 20, 2014 shows the SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule just prior to being captured by the Canadarm2 from the International Space Station at 7:14 a.m. EDT Sunday. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
This frame grabbed image from NASA-TV Sunday April 20, 2014 shows the SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule approaching the International Space Station. It is expected to be captured by the Canadarm2, left, from the International Space Station later this morning. The pair at the time of this frame grab are traveling over the southern Atlantic Ocean. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
This Friday, April 18, 2014 image made from video shows the engine of the second stage of the rocket carrying the SpaceX Dragon capsule. The Dragon cargo ship is scheduled to reach the orbiting lab on Sunday, April 20, 2014 - Easter morning. (AP Photo/NASA)
This Friday, April 18, 2014 image made from video shows the aft of the SpaceX Dragon capsule as it separates from the second stage rocket into orbit on its own. The Dragon cargo ship is scheduled to reach the orbiting lab on Sunday, April 20, 2014 - Easter morning. (AP Photo/NASA)
A rocket carrying the SpaceX Dragon ship lifts off from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Friday, April 18, 2014. The mission will deliver research equipment, food and other supplies to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
A rocket carrying the SpaceX Dragon ship lifts off from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Friday, April 18, 2014. The mission will deliver research equipment, food and other supplies to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
In this image made available from a video by NASA TV shows the SpaceX Falcon rocket on the launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Monday, April 14, 2014. The unmanned SpaceX rocket carries the Dragon capsule, which is full of supplies and is expected to dock with the International Space Station later this week. (AP Photo/NASA TV)
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies.

The shipment arrived Sunday morning via a Dragon, versus a bunny.

The SpaceX company's cargo ship, Dragon, spent two days chasing the International Space Station following its launch from Cape Canaveral. Astronauts used a robot arm to capture the capsule 260 miles above Egypt.

More than 2 tons of food, spacewalking gear and experiments fill the Dragon, including mating fruit flies, a little veggie hothouse and legs for the resident robot. NASA also packed family care packages for the six spacemen.

On Wednesday, the stakes will be even higher when the two Americans on board conduct a spacewalk to replace a dead computer. NASA wants a reliable backup in place as soon as possible, even though the primary computer is working fine. The backup failed April 11.

The SpaceX delivery wasn't exactly express. The launch was delayed more than a month. A minor communication problem cropped up during Sunday's rendezvous, but the capture still took place on time and with success.

SpaceX flight controllers, at company headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., exchanged high-fives, shook hands, applauded and embraced once Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata snared the Dragon with the station's hefty robot arm.

"Great work catching the Dragon," radioed NASA's Mission Control in Houston. "Thanks for getting her on board."

The capsule was solid and stable for grabbing, Wakata reported, making the job easy. He congratulated the SpaceX team and added, "we're excited."

The Dragon will remain attached to the space station until mid-May. It will be filled with science samples - including the flies - for return to Earth.

NASA is paying SpaceX as well as Virginia's Orbital Sciences Corp. to regularly stock the orbiting lab. These commercial shipments stemmed from the 2011 retirement of the space shuttles. This was the fourth station delivery for SpaceX.

Russia, Japan and Europe also make occasional deliveries.

Space-X Rocket Heads to Space Station
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