International Space Station receives supplies from Dulles-based company

The Cygnus cargo spacecraft moves towards the International Space Station, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 260 miles (418 kms.) above the earth. The commercial supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Tuesday, two days after launching from Virginia. (NASA TV via AP)
The Cygnus cargo spacecraft moves toward the International Space Station, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 260 miles (418 kms.) above the earth. The commercial supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Tuesday, two days after launching from Virginia. (NASA TV via AP) (AP)
The International Space Station's robotic arm reaches to capture the Cygnus cargo spacecraft, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 260 miles (418 kms.) above the earth. The commercial supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Tuesday, two days after launching from Virginia. (NASA TV via AP)
The International Space Station’s robotic arm reaches to capture the Cygnus cargo spacecraft, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 260 miles (418 kms.) above the earth. The commercial supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Tuesday, two days after launching from Virginia. (NASA TV via AP) (AP)
The International Space Station's robotic arm reaches to capture the Cygnus cargo spacecraft, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 260 miles (418 kms.) above the earth. The commercial supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Tuesday, two days after launching from Virginia. (NASA TV via AP)
The International Space Station’s robotic arm reaches to capture the Cygnus cargo spacecraft, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 260 miles (418 kms.) above the earth. The commercial supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Tuesday, two days after launching from Virginia. (NASA TV via AP) (AP)
The International Space Station's robotic arm captures the cargo on Tuesday after launching from Virginia. (Courtesy Ortbital ATK)
The International Space Station’s robotic arm captures the cargo on Tuesday after launching from Virginia. (Courtesy Ortbital ATK) (Courtesy Ortbital ATK)
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The Cygnus cargo spacecraft moves towards the International Space Station, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 260 miles (418 kms.) above the earth. The commercial supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Tuesday, two days after launching from Virginia. (NASA TV via AP)
The International Space Station's robotic arm reaches to capture the Cygnus cargo spacecraft, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 260 miles (418 kms.) above the earth. The commercial supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Tuesday, two days after launching from Virginia. (NASA TV via AP)
The International Space Station's robotic arm reaches to capture the Cygnus cargo spacecraft, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 260 miles (418 kms.) above the earth. The commercial supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Tuesday, two days after launching from Virginia. (NASA TV via AP)
The International Space Station's robotic arm captures the cargo on Tuesday after launching from Virginia. (Courtesy Ortbital ATK)

WASHINGTON —  Fresh fruit and ice cream bars have made their two-day journey to the International Space Station, along with thousands of pounds of other supplies and research experiments.

Dulles-based Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft was launched aboard an Orbital ATK Antares rocket at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Nov. 12 and docked at the space station at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, two days later.

For the first time, the Cygnus craft will act as an extension of the space station’s research space, with science experiments performed inside the cargo module while docked to the laboratory.

The 7,400 pounds of cargo, supplies and scientific experiments will first be unloaded, and the Cygnus craft will remain docked to the station for three weeks.

After detaching from the space station, the Cygnus craft has a secondary mission. It will deploy 14 “microsatellite” Cubesats, a record number. It will then return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

The weekend launch at Wallops was delayed by one day.

Orbital ATK’s NASA contract calls for it to deliver a total of 66,000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station over the course of the multiyear contract.


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