Second shipment of supplies blasts off for space station

James Marshall
November 19, 2018

This is the seventh flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft, and the fourth using Northrop Grumman's upgraded Antares 230 launch vehicle featuring new RD-181 engines that provide increased performance and flexibility.

And another commercial delivery should be on its way in a couple weeks.

A United States commercial shipment arrived on Monday, two days after blasting off from Virginia. The cargo ship's arrival at the International Space Station is scheduled for November 19, Monday.

Northrop Grumman launched its Antares rocket from Wallops Island before dawn, delighting chilly early-bird observers along the Atlantic coast.

Thanksgiving turkey dinners - rehydratable, of course - are already aboard the 250-mile-high outpost.

The load includes the space station's first all-in-one 3D printer and recycler, known as the "Refabricator", NASA said.

There is another big event coming up - the ISS marks its 20th year in orbit on Tuesday. He walked on the Moon during Apollo 16 in 1972 and commanded the first space shuttle mission in 1981.

For more than 18 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. He died in January. Then there's the US commercial effort to keep the space station stocked and, beginning next year, to resume crew launches from Cape Canaveral.

The launch vehicle Antares and the cargo ship Cygnus are owned by Northrop Grumman, which absorbed Orbital ATK past year. Northrop Grumman acquired Orbital ATK in June.

Nasa astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor used the space station's robot arm to grab Northrop Grumman's capsule.

Experiments also are going up to observe how cement solidifies in weightlessness, among other things.

Three other astronauts are set to launch from Kazakhstan on December 3.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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