Orbital Sciences sends first spacecraft to ISS

Sept. 29, 2013 at 5:47 PM
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WALLOPS, Va., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- NASA partner Orbital Sciences Corp. completed its first flight to the International Space Station, sending a cargo resupply craft, officials said.

Astronauts on board the ISS used a robotic arm to capture and attach the Cygnus cargo resupply craft, which was loaded with about 1,300 pounds of food, clothing and student experiments, a NASA news release said.

It was the first craft launched from Orbital's Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

It also marked the first time a spacecraft was launched to the space station from the state, the release said. The Cygnus was launched Sept. 18 and was supposed to dock with the ISS Sept. 22, but data format incompatibility postponed the docking, the news release said.

Once the software problem was fixed, the docking was postponed until after the Wednesday arrival of the Expedition 37 crew of flight engineer Michael Hopkins of NASA, and Soyuz spacecraft commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency.

The Cygnus is scheduled to unberth from the ISS Oct. 22, at which point it will have a destructive re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, the release said.

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