In brief | Nation & world | 4-19-14


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX supply ship rocketed toward the International Space Station on Friday, setting the stage for an Easter morning delivery and urgent spacewalking repairs later in the week.

Following its midday launch through cloudy skies, the Dragon cargo carrier was shown drifting away in the blackness of space, against the blue backdrop of Earth.

It’s transporting 2½ tons of goods, including a new spacesuit, spacesuit replacement parts, much-needed food, legs for NASA’s humanoid, Robonaut, a bevy of mating flies, and germs gathered from sports arenas and historic sites across the U.S.

Neither NASA nor SpaceX packed any Easter goodies, but the families of the six astronauts sent private care packages.

“It will be a surprise for all of us when they open the hatch,” said NASA’s human exploration chief, Bill Gerstenmaier.