NASA shipper Orbital ATK launches space station supplies

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – One of NASA’s prime shippers, Orbital ATK, has launched a fresh load of supplies to the International Space Station.  The Antares rocket blasted off from Wallops Island, Virginia, before dawn Monday, treating early risers along the East Coast to a cosmic light show, at least where skies were clear. The 7,400-pound shipment – a third of it research – should reach the orbiting lab Thursday.  The Cygnus capsule holds a student cement-mixing experiment, as well as an atom-cooling chamber from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that uses lasers to get temperatures colder than even space itself. There’s also equipment for a spacewalk next month.  Named for the swan constellation, the Cygnus is making Orbital ATK’s ninth contracted delivery for NASA. SpaceX is NASA’s other supplier.

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