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Antares rocket launches Cygnus cargo ship, doubling up space station deliveries

17 Nov 2018, 09:55 UTC
Antares rocket launches Cygnus cargo ship, doubling up space station deliveries
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Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket lights up the night at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. (NASA via YouTube)
Two uncrewed cargo craft are now en route to the International Space Station, thanks to the launch of a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spaceship atop an Antares rocket.
Liftoff came right on time at 4:01 a.m. ET (1:01 a.m. PT) today at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. NASA said the Antares’ ascent should have been visible from a stretch of America’s East Coast ranging from Massachusetts to the Carolinas, given acceptable weather conditions and viewing elevation.
A round of applause could be heard at Wallops’ launch control center when spacecraft separation was announced.
The rocket’s red glare came less than 15 hours after Russia’s robotic Progress spaceship began its trip to the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The close timing was the result of a couple of weather-caused delays for the Cygnus launch. The Progress is due to rendezvous with the station on Sunday, followed by the Cygnus’ arrival on Monday.

About 7,400 pounds of cargo is on its way to the station aboard the Cygnus, which has been christened the S.S. John Young in honor of the pioneering ...

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