The International Space Station (ISS) will have a cargo load of 2,988 metric tons of food, water and other supplies starting in early March, NASA said Wednesday.
That’s an increase of almost 70 percent over the previous estimates.
That increase is mostly due to a boost to the station’s food production capacity that will allow the station to produce enough food to feed about 500 people, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.
The food will be shipped to the space station from Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft and SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.
That means the two companies will begin delivering supplies to the orbiting outpost before the end of the year, NASA officials said.
That means SpaceX and Boeing have delivered about 6,300 metric tons to the ISS since January.
The astronauts will use their own food, and the Soyuz spacecraft and crew capsule will return the food to Earth in the coming weeks.
The station is the largest living laboratory in the world and hosts NASA astronauts, research and experiments and other international equipment.
The crew will return from the space lab in late March, and astronauts will return to Earth for about a year to begin preparing for the station resupply mission in late 2021.