A Virginia company is on its way to the International Space Station, doubling the number of commercial suppliers.
Orbital Sciences Corp. launched its first-ever cargo ship Wednesday morning from Virginia. The capsule, named Cygnus, is due at the space station on Sunday, following four days of testing.
It's only the second private business to attempt a shipment like this. The California-based SpaceX company has been delivering station cargo for more than a year under a NASA contract.
The Cygnus capsule contains 1,300 pounds of food, clothing and goodies for the astronauts -- nothing too valuable given this is a test flight.
Orbital Sciences' unmanned Antares rocket blasted off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. It's the second major launch from Wallops this month. A NASA moonshot occurred Sept. 6.
Another first for Wallops Island research facility. This morning, Cygnus will be the first spacecraft launched to the International Space Station from Virginia.
The spacecraft will deliver about cargo, including food and clothing, to the crew aboard the International space station.
In the future, the Cygnus rocket launches from Wallops will increase NASA’s ability to deliver new science experiments to the space station.
During Cygnus’ flight to the station, several of the spacecraft’s systems and capabilities will be tested. After the space station flight control team has verified the results of these objectives, the spacecraft will be cleared to approach the station several days after launch.
Cygnus will undergo more tests and maneuvers and ultimately will arrive beneath the outpost, where astronauts on board will use the station’s arm to capture the craft. They then will install it on the bottom side of the station’s Harmony module.
The rocket was built by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles.