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NASA mission with 7,000 pounds of key science on way to ISS

Mon, Dec 07, 2015, 10:20 AM
Washington, Dec 7: Carrying 7,000 pounds of research materials that will directly support over dozens of key investigations on the orbiting laboratory, a cargo-laden Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft soared towards the ISS.

A burst of smoke and column of flame on Sunday trailed a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket as it powered the cargo mission from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida onto an orbital path to rendezvous with the International Space Station in three days.

The mission will deliver experiments, equipments and supplies to the orbiting laboratory and its six-member crew of astronauts and cosmonauts, the US space agency, NASA, said in a statement.

"We are looking forward to getting more science facilities and numerous research investigations. There are 324 investigations during this increment pair. It's important to have a regular cadence of resupply flights, and we are looking forward to regular resupply to use the station as intended," said Kirk Shireman, NASA's programme manager of the ISS.

This is the first flight in a series that will include a crew change in addition to a Russian progress cargo craft leaving and another one coming to the station.

In the near future, Boeing and United Launch Alliance plan to use the Atlas V to launch astronauts to the station in the CST-100 Starliner for NASA's Commercial Crew Programme.

SpaceX is preparing its own spacecraft combination -- Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon -- to carry astronauts to the station in the near future.

"The crew members need these critical supplies from the Earth to do their important work and we intend to do everything possible to enable their mission to continue," added Frank Culbertson, president of Orbital ATK's Space Systems Group and a former astronaut.
Agency: IANS

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