The space station supply ship John Glenn was launched and is heading towards the ISS. The unmanned cargo ship was named after the pioneering American astronaut, John Glenn. The craft set off from Cape Canaveral being attached to a modernized version of the Atlas spacecraft. Back in 1962, John Glenn used a similar spaceship to launch into the orbit.
- On April 18, the supply ship John Glenn set off for the ISS after the launch was rescheduled.
- The craft carried 7,600 pounds of supplies and experiments.
- Moreover, it also consisted in some Easter baskets for astronauts.
The craft is heading towards the International Space Station. On April 18, the Atlas V craft of the United Launch Alliance was launched from Launch Complex 41 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 11:11 a.m. The ship angled northeast, crossing the sky over the Atlantic Ocean. After only 21 minutes, another craft named Orbital ATK Cygnus carrying a massive load of 7,600 pounds of supplies, food, and experiments have deployed from the Centaur upper stage of the spaceship.
Joel Montalbano, the deputy manager of NASA’s International Space Station program, argued that the launch was extraordinary. On April 22, scientists planned a meeting at the research outpost which orbits 250 miles overhead. This rendezvous was established at two days after a Russian cosmonaut, and a NASA astronaut was scheduled to deploy from Kazakhstan and collaborate with three crew members of Expedition 51 on the station.
The research outstation located aboard the Cygnus craft features a minifridge-sized chamber used for growing plants which is led by KSC. This research mini-lab develops tests of a chemotherapy drug which could better focus on destroying cancer cells. Moreover, up there, scientists develop another experiment prone to examine DNA and observe the aging process.
The supply includes equipment needed for a spacewalk which was planned to take place next month. What is more, the great load also consists of 38 small satellites known as CubeSats which will be launched from either the ISS or the Cygnus. Nevertheless, specialists argue that this resupply was scheduled to occur about a month ago but was rescheduled due to some issues which occurred with hydraulics on ground systems and the craft’s primary engine.
Frank Culbertson, the head of Orbital ATK’s Space Systems Group, stated that the team regrets the fact that they did not send the supply ship in time for Easter. Nevertheless, he is sure that astronauts were very excited to receive the Easter treats even if they were a little bit late. The spacecraft wears the name of the first American who orbited Earth after the space race with the Soviet Union, John Glenn.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia