KOUROU: A special delivery of peanut butter, pyjamas and parmesan cheese was blasted into the cosmos on Wednesday to bring some Earthly indulgences to the astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS).

The items were in a cargo capsule launched on the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket to bring creature comforts like family photos and sweet treats to the six-person crew, but also bare essentials like oxygen, food and drinking water.

Perhaps the most anticipated among the record 1,400 items launched on the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) are the care packages put together for each of the astronauts with favourites they had requested and little surprises from home.

“It’s quite small, but you can actually fit quite a lot in there,” ATV cargo engineer Kerstin MacDonnell of the agency’s ESTEC research centre told AFP of the bread bin-sized container each crew member would receive.

“Some birthday cards or drawings from their children, or if one of them has a craving for chewing gum or beef jerky or whatever kind of thing they like,” she said.

“For the most part it’s just confort things that would help the morale - personal items and mementos from the family.”–afp