CABO CAUNAVERAL, Florida, USA – A ship with supplies to the International Space Station took off from Virginia on Saturday, the second load at the Orbital Laboratory in two days.
Northrop Grumman launched the Antares rocket from Wallops Island before dawn, enjoying early bird watchers on the Atlantic coast. A ship of Russian space service, also with materials, left for the ISS just 15 hours earlier.
US shipping will arrive at the space laboratory on Monday, one day after the Russian. Among the 3,500 kilos that travel with the Cygnus capsule, there are ice creams and fresh fruits for the three ISS residents and a 3D printer that turns the plastic used into new places.
Turkish Thanksgiving turkey dishes – which are hydrated, of course – are already in orbital position, where an American, a German and a Russian live now.
The lab is also preparing for another anniversary: Tuesday celebrates its 20th anniversary orbit. The first section took off on 20 November 1998 from Kazakhstan.
This Cygnus capsule was named John Young in honor of the legendary astronaut who climbed to the moon and ordered the first flight of a space shuttle that passed away last January.
This is the first commercial capsule called Northrop Grumman. The company bought the Orbital ATK in June. SpaceX is the other NASA provider to send hardware to the ISS.
The ship also conducts experiments to observe how cement solidifies in a lack of gravity, among others. There is also medical equipment, suits and other items to replace those that did not arrive last month after failure in the Russian rocket on which they were traveling. The two astronauts boarded in Soyuz survived an emergency landing. Other three astronauts are scheduled to depart from Kazakhstan on December 3rd.