John Glenn honoured with launch of space station supply ship
"Today's successful launch reflects the remarkable efforts of our Orbital ATK team which has now delivered its fourth Cygnus to the space station in little over a year from two different launch locations", said Frank Culbertson, President of Orbital ATK's Space Systems Group. Given that Glenn flew on an Atlas rocket and Tuesday's rocket is an Atlas, "I feel like we're bridging history". He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery two weeks ago.
The launch of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket-aimed at transporting supplies to the International Space Station-is scheduled for a 30-minute window beginning at 11:11 a.m. ET.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launches from a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida to send the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft S.S. John Glenn on a NASA cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station on April 18, 2017. A new, larger greenhouse is flying up, along with equipment needed for a spacewalk next month.
For the first time, cameras provided live 360-degree video of a rocket heading toward space. Anyone using a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone had access to the 360-degree view, along with the ability to manipulate the video, altering the perspective to place themselves close to the rocket as it lifted off, launch commentator George Diller said.
NASA also has resupply mission contracts with SpaceX and with Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Mission Control beamed up the launch broadcast for the three astronauts at the space station, which is orbiting 250 miles (about 400 kilometers) high. The American, Russian and Frenchman will be joined Thursday by another American and Russian who will take off from Kazakhstan.
SpaceX and Boeing are developing new capsules that could fly USA astronauts to the space station as early as next year.
The redesigned booster successfully flew last October, but Orbital bought a third more powerful - and expensive - Atlas 5 to help NASA get additional supplies to the station faster than would otherwise be possible.
Diller's voice led the countdown to many space shuttle launches, including the final Atlantis launch in 2011, and the Hubble Space Telescope launch. "Missed the whole launch".
"The researchers are kind of scratching their heads at that", space station associate scientist Tara Ruttley said during a press conference on Monday.
"I couldn't do better if I'd been riding a rocket".