Atlas V Launch: Rocket Will Deliver Cargo to Space Station

  • Atlas V Launch: Rocket Will Deliver Cargo to Space Station

Atlas V Launch: Rocket Will Deliver Cargo to Space Station

Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft launched atop a ULA Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The launch will be from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with the 30-minute launch window opening at 11:11 a.m. EDT.

Orbital ATK's OA-7 Cygnus spacecraft is named after S.S. John Glenn - for acknowledging first orbital astronaut of America.

Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn, who died in December at age 95, was one of NASA's original seven astronauts and a retired U.S. Senator from Ohio.

Atop the rocket was an Orbital ATK Cygnus capsule loaded with more than 7,600 pounds (3,450 kg) of food, supplies and experiments for the station, a $100 billion research lab flying about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.

The mission was flown for Orbital ATK under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract and the payload will deliver supplies, equipment and experiments to astronauts aboard the ISS.

While missions to be launched Russian Federation and the United States represent business as usual, China is aiming to take another major step along the trail blazed by the two pioneers of the early space age.

Another new investigation bound for the space station's U.S. National Laboratory will look at using magnetized cells and tools to make it easier to handle cells and cultures, and improve the reproducibility of experiments.

"While in space, after traveling a safe distance from the station, the fire is lit and data is collected before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere", NASA said in a statement.

The capsule was carrying a space combustion experiment that will intentionally burn a single large sample of material to study flame development in space. After it departs, experiments will take place and four cubesats will be deployed before it is commanded to reenter.

Also, NASA broadcast a 360-view of the launch, a first for the space agency.

Coverage of the Cygnus launch will continue on NASA TV today, which viewers can stream online at NASA Live.

"Live 360-degree is an emerging technology", the USA space agency said in a statement. The OA-7 mission has been on hold for a month due to a technical issue with the rocket's first-stage hydraulics.

This launch was supposed to happen in March, but a leak caused the flight to be grounded.

"We are sorry we missed Easter", said Culbertson, a former NASA astronaut, "but we're pretty sure they'll be excited about their Easter baskets and whatever great things International Space Station science put on board for them".