A cargo ship is rocketing towards the International Space Station, carrying sweet and cheese to fulfill the astronauts’ cravings.
Northrop Grumman launched its Cygnus capsule from the Virginia seashore on Saturday. The practically four-tonne cargo ought to arrive on the orbiting lab Tuesday. It took three tries over the previous week to get the Antares rocket off the pad, with it lastly withdrawing at 3:21 p.m. — an auspicious 3-2-1.
“Awesome launch,” Joel Montalbano, NASA’s deputy area station program supervisor, stated as soon as the capsule reached orbit.
Besides the standard experiments and gear, the capsule holds cheddar and manchego cheeses, fresh fruit and greens, chocolate and three varieties of gummy sweet expressly requested by the three station astronauts: Skittles, Hot Tamales, and Mike and Ike jelly candies.
Periodic supply runs by Russia, Japan and NASA’s two non-public shippers, Northrop Grumman and SpaceX, often present greater than experiments, gear, garments and freeze-dried meals. The capsules additionally deliver household care packages, in addition to fresh meals to offset the run-of-the-mill station grub.
This newest supply ought to have arrived nicely earlier than Valentine’s Day. But last-minute gear issues on the Wallops Island launch pad halted Feb. 9’s countdown for the Antares rocket, then dangerous climate moved in. Dangerously excessive wind scuttled Friday’s try.
This was the corporate’s 13th area station supply for NASA. The Cygnus capsules get their identify from the Swan Constellation.
This specific Cygnus has been christened the SS Robert H. Lawrence in honour of America’s first black astronaut. Lawrence, an Air Force main, was chosen in 1967 as an astronaut for a categorised army area program often known as the Manned Orbiting Laboratory. He was killed 5 months later in a aircraft crash and by no means flew in area.
The area station is now house for Americans Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan and Russian Oleg Skripochka. Morgan has been up there since July, and the 2 others since September; they’re going to stay on board till April. Three different astronauts returned to Earth earlier this month.
Until astronaut launches resume from Florida — probably by SpaceX this spring — the station crew will be restricted in measurement to three. NASA astronauts now launch on Russian rockets from Kazakhstan.
Boeing, NASA’s different industrial crew supplier, is struggling with software program issues in its astronaut capsule. A December take a look at flight was marred by coding errors.