Washington: Orbital ATK on Sunday launched its Cygnus cargo spaceship to the International Space Station, after a year hiatus.
Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft blasted off from a pad at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 4:44 p.m. EST (2144 GMT) Sunday after a three-day delay caused by bad weather.
The mission is Orbital ATK's fourth cargo delivery flight to the station through NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.
The commercial spacecraft is expected to deliver some 7,300 pounds (3,300 kilograms) of supplies, including science experiments, ready-made food, a jet pack for spacewalking astronauts and even a satellite made by elementary school students when it arrives at the space station on Wednesday, December 9.
Cygnus will be grappled at approximately 6:10 a.m. December 9, by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, using the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to take hold of the spacecraft, with Scott Kelly supporting him in a backup position.
The spacecraft will spend more than a month attached to the space station before its destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, disposing of about 3,000 pounds of trash in January.