Orbital ATK Launches 7th Cargo Resupply Mission to Space Station
Tuesday's launch marked the first time NASA, in coordination with the ULA and Orbital ATK, has broadcast a rocket launch with a 360-degree view, which should "virtually place the public at the base of the rocket during launch".
NASA launched the Orbital ATK CRS-7 mission to resupply the International Space Station on Tuesday, April 18, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. 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 spacecraft is loaded with 7,626 pounds (3,459 kilograms) of crew supplies, hardware and dozens of experiments aimed at studying fire, growing food and cancer therapies. The spacecraft, named the S.S. John Glenn in honor of the late astronaut, will also become the third Cygnus to conduct scientific experiments following its departure from the station.
The experiment will help NASA better prepare to keep astronauts safe from spacecraft fires during future missions. He died last December at age 95.
The Cygnus should arrive at the station on April 22, after the scheduled docking Thursday of a Russian Soyuz spaceship carrying cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and American astronaut Jack Fischer.
After his unfortunate death a year ago, Annie Glenn, Glenn's widow, granted Orbital ATK, one of NASA's accredited delivery services, along with SpaceX, the permission to use his name for a space supply ship set to replenish the International Space Station.
NASA confirmed that many viewers experienced "technical difficulties" with the live feed.
While the minimum viewing distance is miles away from the launchpad, the 360-degree live stream offers viewers the possibility to experience the start of the space mission firsthand. We can't all be rocket scientists, but this might be as close as we'll get.
"We are sorry we missed Easter", said Culbertson, a former NASA astronaut, "but we're pretty sure they'll be excited about their Easter baskets and whatever great things International Space Station science put on board for them".
The launch of the cargo ship has been delayed several times over the past month due to hydraulic leaks on the rocket booster and ground support equipment.