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NASA Space Station Cargo Launches aboard Orbital ATK Resupply Mission

John Glenn honoured with launch of space station supply ship NASA Space Station Cargo Launches aboard Orbital ATK Resupply Mission
Eleena Tovar | 23 Abril, 2017, 02:58

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will carry supplies to the International Space Station stands ready at complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Monday, April 17, 2017, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. "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. The first two space fire experiments took place during previous Cygnus resupply missions. But Orbital is fine with sending the Cygnus up on either vehicle, depending on what NASA needs, Culbertson said in a press conference yesterday.

NASA's shipper, Orbital ATK, asked Glenn's widow, Annie, for permission to use his name for the spacecraft, following his December death.

According to the US space agency NASA, the new experiments include an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment and an advanced plant habitat for studying plant physiology and growth of fresh food in space.

SpaceX also has a cargo contract with NASA worth $1.6 billion. CubeSats are standardized space probes that are typically not much bigger than a shoebox and are great for doing small-scale research in space. "This mission once again clearly demonstrates the successful collaboration we have with our mission partners at NASA and ULA as we continue to shape the future of America's space operations, and serve as the 'World's Premier Gateway to Space'".

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin are scheduled for launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:13 a.m. EDT/0713 GMT on Thursday, docking at the station about six hours later.

But first, the capsule just has to get to the station.

That's because a special 360-degree camera has been installed near the base of the Atlas V rocket en route to the International Space Station. Because the launch was delayed a month by hydraulic problems at the pad and on the rocket, no Glenn family members were able to make it to Cape Canaveral, according to Culbertson. So you can feel like you're there without actually enduring the Florida heat.