It's launch day for a United Launch Alliance mission named after John Glenn, an astronaut and former USA senator who once rode into space on a predecessor of the rocket that launches today.
A cargo resupply mission launched Tuesday from the Space Coast was the last liftoff narrated by the "golden voice" of NASA after more than 30 years of commentary. The spacecraft will spend about four days catching up to the ISS.
Before the OA-7 Cygnus' final plunge in the atmosphere, it will perform one more experiment at a safe distance from the ISS and its crew.
The cargo also included Easter baskets for the crew. The OA-7 mission represents the first execution of a RapidLaunch™ service contract, with contractual agreements being finalized 5 months ago. The mission will deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).
According to the US space agency NASA, the new experiments include an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment and an advanced plant habitat for studying plant physiology and growth of fresh food in space.
There are also experiments to improve chemotherapy and 38 mini-satellites called CubeSats that will also be used for research.More news: A year on, few answers from probe into Prince's death
When Cygnus arrives at the ISS, it will be grabbed by the stations robotic Canadarm2, which will be operated by the crew of Expedition 51, at about 6:05 a.m. EDT (10:05 GMT).
The Cygnus is slated to stay at the station until July, when it'll be loaded up with trash, detach, and hang out in orbit again. It's the largest cargo load every carried by a Cygnus module. Once that experiment is complete, the capsule will take a dive into Earth's atmosphere, where it will completely burn up.
Orbital ATK's seventh cargo delivery flight to the station launched at 11:11 a.m. EDT Tuesday on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Atlas V gets going in a hurry, reaching Mach 1 after just 1 minute, 22 seconds and burning out completely some three minutes later. So far, weather is looking good for launch; there's a 90 percent chance that conditions will be favorable, according to Patrick Military Air Force Base.
And for the first time, cameras will provide live 360-degree video of a rocket heading toward space. So you can feel like you're there without actually enduring the Florida heat.