Launch of space station supply ship honors John Glenn

The Atlas 5 will be rolled to the launch pad on Monday. Credit United Launch Alliance

The Atlas 5 will be rolled to the launch pad on Monday. Credit United Launch Alliance

The company's Cygnus cargo capsule - filled with more than 7,600 pounds of food, water, tools, and science experiments - is set to launch on top of an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, this morning. At 12:40 p.m., coverage of the Orbital ATK Cygnus solar array deployment will begin, followed by a post-launch press conference with mission managers at 2 p.m. Finally, congratulations to NASA, ULA and Orbital ATK for their shared teamwork in commemorating a champion of human spaceflight through the S.S. John Glenn.

The Cygnus ship is named for John Glenn, who rode into orbit on one of the original Atlas rockets in 1962, Florida Today reported.

From the Florida sand Cygnus soars skyward.

The Atlas V for this mission was in the 401 configuration.

Twitter fans celebrated a successful launch. But despite that mission's success, in November, NASA asked Orbital to return to the Atlas V for this launch since the rocket can get more weight into orbit. It's the largest cargo load every carried by a Cygnus module. The PCM is based on the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), developed and built by Thales Alenia Space of Italy. It will use the 401 configuration to send the next Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-M, into space for NASA. The cargo ship was launched into space by Atlas V rocket.

"The video will continue through countdown and launch and until the rocket is out of sight".

Passing through 10,000 miles per hour, the first stage engine shut down as planned four minutes and 15 seconds after liftoff and the spent stage fell away. NASA broadcast an unprecedented 360-degree view of the launch via YouTube, in a debut of new video technology.

Mission Description: Orbital ATK developed the Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft to perform ISS cargo delivery missions under the Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) contract with NASA.

Along with some belated Easter baskets for the crew, the cargo also includes a number of key science experiments: one involves testing out a new antibody drug that could help make chemotherapy treatments more effective for cancer patients.

The Soyuz MS-04/50S spacecraft, carrying vehicle commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Jack Fischer, is being readied for launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:13 a.m. EDT Thursday.

A camera on the rocket's Centaur second stage captures the Atlas 5's first stage falling back to Earth moments after separation.

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