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Private Cygnus Spacecraft Lifts Off With ISS Supplies

Filed by KOSU News in Science.
September 18, 2013

Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft has successfully launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia atop an Antares rocket on its way to becoming the second private vehicle to resupply the International Space Station.

Space.com says:

“The unmanned Cygnus spacecraft and its Antares rocket soared into orbit with a tremendous roar at 10:58 a.m. EDT (1458 GMT) today from [Wallops] — a huge success for the commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corp., which built both vehicles. The spacecraft is now chasing the space station and is due to arrive early Sunday (Sept. 22), when it will be captured by astronauts using the outpost’s robotic arm.”

Cygnus bears “1,300 pounds of food, clothing and goodies for the astronauts” and is scheduled to dock with the ISS on Sunday, The Associated Press says.

Orbital Sciences and billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX Corp. have been contracted to supply the orbiting outpost since the Space Shuttle was retired two years ago. Two SpaceX Dragon robotic capsules have already been up on resupply missions, the most recent one in March. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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