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Cargo ship blasts off for space station with supplies, experiments
20 April 2017, 06:32 | Justin Tyler
The launch scheduled for Thursday will deliver the new crew to the station in about six hours after liftoff.
The resupply mission is a public-private partnership between NASA and United Launch Alliance, a joint venture owned by Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
United Launch Alliance program manager Vernon Thorp says some people pursue space industry careers because they like things that "make smoke and fire and loud noises".
This morning NASA launched the Atlas 5 rocket into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Through a combination of internal investment and government funding from an Air Force contract awarded in late 2015 by the Space and Missile Systems Center's Launch Systems Directorate, the company's Flight Systems Group recently completed design reviews, facility upgrades and tooling fabrication and has now begun early production of development hardware for its Next Generation Launch (NGL) system. The commentary veteran said he had a lot of fun during his time at NASA. "Building on this work, we are looking forward to providing the Air Force and other customers with a highly reliable and cost-effective launch system within the next four years", said Lehr.
Cygnus is also carrying 38 CubeSats as part of the NanoRacks QB50 program.
Glenn was selected as a Mercury astronaut in April 1959 and became the first American to orbit the Earth in his Friendship 7 capsule on February 20, 1962. Glenn died on December 8.
Orbital ATK dedicated the OA-7 Cygnus spacecraft to John Glenn during a ceremony last month.
In a first for digital launch viewing options, NASA live streamed the launch to the International Space Station in 360 degrees. A computer in a blast-proof box will stitch together the images for a full, in-the-round view. There will be about a minute lag time.
The launch was streamed on NASA's YouTube channel.
The mission, which carried a capsule named after astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn, was delayed twice in March for issues with its ground support systems.
It's about that time again: the astronauts on the International Space Station are all set to get a new shipment of cargo from Earth. "The crew will use the complex's robotic arm to grab Cygnus and attach it to the station".
One experiment on board is a sophisticated new greenhouse that will be evaluated as a way to grow food for astronauts during long-duration stays in space. At 11:33 a.m., NASA confirmedCygnus had successfully separated from the rocket and was flying solo.
Orbital ATK blasts off from NASA launch pad
The Cygnus is also carrying 38 small satellites known as CubeSats, many of which have been built by college students. Beginning in 2019, Orbital ATK will conduct a minimum of six initial cargo missions under NASA's CRS-2 contract.
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