About 7,400 pounds of cargo are headed to the International Space Station after being launched early Saturday morning aboard an Antares 230 rocket in Virginia.
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Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft lifted off at 4:01 a.m. Saturday from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore after two days of rain delays.
“The Cygnus is lighting up the night sky,” a NASA flight controller announced in a TV live-stream of the event. Nine minutes later, the Cygnus successfully separated from the rocket’s second-stage.
Grumman’s 10th cargo delivery flight was scheduled to arrive at the orbital laboratory Monday.
Expedition 57 astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency plan to use the space station’s robotic arm to grav Cygnus about 5:20 a.m. NASA Television will broadcast covering beginning at 4 a.m. on its website.
That cargo includes fresh fruit and ice cream for the three crew members as well as equipment for new and existing investigations.
The Refabricator is the first 3D printer and recycler integrated into one user-friendly machine. It will demonstrate recycling of waste plastic and previously 3D printed parts already on-board into high-quality filament. This recycled filament will then be fed into the printer for new tools and parts on-demand in space.
A protein-growth study by the Michael J. Fox Foundation will investigate the structure of the LRRK2 protein and its link progression of Parkinson‘s disease.
The Cygnus spacecraft will remain at the Space Station until February when it reenters into Earth’s atmosphere.
This is the seventh enhanced Cygnus spacecraft flight, and the fourth using Northrop Grumman’s upgraded Antares 230 launch vehicle featuring new RD-181 engines that provide increased performance and flexibility.
The spacecraft is named in honor of astronaut John Young, who was selected for NASA’s second astronaut class and flew during the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. He died in January.
One day earlier, Russia’s Progress 71 vehicle, launched on its own mission to the space station with nearly 3 tons of food, fuel and other supplies.
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