April 19 (UPI) -- The Cygnus cargo spacecraft was bolted into place on the International Space Station early Friday morning, bringing 7,600 pounds of research and supplies to the station.
The cargo vessel was attached to the Unity module on ISS at 7:31 a.m. EDT, where it will remain until July 23, while flying about 225 miles above the Indian Ocean.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain received the Cygnus cargo spacecraft at 5:28 a.m. EDT with the International Space Station's robotic arm while the ISS was over France.
NASA TV provided live coverage of the event beginning at 4 a.m.
McClain was assisted by astronaut David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency.
Space station crew members will begin unloading the cargo later today. Included in the cargo ship are several scientific experiments.
The Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-10 will study the behavior of gels in microgravity. The findings could help material scientists develop new kinds of useful materials. Another study will test the effects of spaceflight on the immune systems of lab mice.
The rodent immune system closely parallels the human immune system, and researchers are keen to better understand the effects of extended stays in space on human health. Another study will focus on the effects of microgravity on the human vasculature system.
"The Vascular Aging investigation uses ultrasounds, blood samples, oral glucose tolerance tests, and wearable sensors to study aging-like changes that occur in many astronauts during their stay on the space station," according to NASA.
Cygnus was launched into space from Virginia's Eastern Shore on Wednesday. The cargo ship was carried into space by Northrop Grumman's Antares rocket. The launch was Northrop Grumman's 11th commercial resupply mission for NASA.
Once Cygnus is received and installed, crew members aboard ISS will begin unloading the more than 7,600 pounds of food, supplies, equipment and science experiments.