Orbital Sciences` Antares rocket blasts-off to ISS
Zee Media Bureau
Washington: After a day`s delay due to space radiation, the commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corporation launched its Antares rocket on Thursday, flying its first cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Cygnus spacecraft was launched at 1:07 p.m. EDT (1707 GMT) from the US space agency`s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia.
The launch was broadcast live on NASA Television.
The spacecraft is carrying 2,780 pounds (1,260 kg) of supplies to the Space Station, including food, spare part and science experiments, 23 of which are from US and Canadian students.
Orbital Sciences is one of two firms hired by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to fly cargo to the station, a $100 billion project of 15 nations, following the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011.
The company holds a $1.9 billion contract with NASA to fly eight Cygnus cargo ships to the station, a permanently staffed research outpost that flies about 250 miles above Earth.
Orbital Sciences debuted its Antares rocket in April 2013 and made a successful test run to the space station five months later. It planned to start flying cargo in December, but NASA delayed the launch to tackle a high-priority repair to the station`s cooling system.
If all goes well, Cygnus is expected to arrive at the Space Station on early Sunday, January 12.
(With Agency inputs)
Pic Courtesy: NASA
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