Rocket Carrying Cargo To International Space Station Launched
Robotic spacecraft built by the private company Orbital Sciences was launched off Virginia's Wallops Flight Facility Sunday afternoon. The rocket carries more than 3,000 pounds of much-needed cargo, and was originally scheduled launch in May.
The cargo includes essential supplements such as food, science experiments and hardware spacewalk tools and student research experiments along with 28 small satellites designed to take pictures of Earth.
The flight facility located on Wallops Island off of Virginia's Eastern shore is frequented by storms and hence the taking off was being prevented. However on Sunday, the island experienced a day of clear weather allowing the rocket to take off at 12:52 p.m. Eastern time.
"The Coast Guard went out to try to turn them around," Frank Culbertson, vice president of Orbital and a former astronaut, said in a pre-launch briefing. "One of them didn't want to turn around. I don't think they believed them."
"We're real proud to be part of the team that is keeping the station flying and providing the crew with cargo and the research that they need."
The International Space Station has to be resupplied about 12 times per year, launching more than 20,000 pounds of cargo annually.